Documentation

by Stephan W. Witz last modified Aug 04, 2015 by Lorant Sjouwerman

Documentation for VLA data reduction, image making, observing preparation, etc., can be found in various manuals. Most current manuals are available on-line (see On-Line Information about the NRAO and the VLA). Those manuals marked by an asterisk (*) can be mailed out upon request, or are available for downloading from the NRAO website. Direct your requests for mailed hardcopy to Lori Appel. Many other documents of interest to the VLA user, not listed here, are available from our website.

  1. PROCEEDINGS FROM THE 1988 SYNTHESIS IMAGING WORKSHOP: Synthesis theory, technical information and observing strategies can be found in: "Synthesis Imaging in Radio Astronomy." This collection of lectures given in Socorro in June 1988 has been published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific as Volume 6 of their Conference Series.
  2. PROCEEDINGS FROM THE 1998 SYNTHESIS IMAGING WORKSHOP: This is an updated and expanded version of Reference 1, taken from the 1998 Synthesis Imaging Summer School, held in Socorro in June, 1998. These proceedings are published as Volume 180 of the ASP Conference Series.
  3. A GUIDE TO OBSERVING WITH THE VLA: Describes details of how to observe with the VLA once you have been allocated time on the VLA (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide).    Including, e.g., special observing modes such as:
    1. OBSERVING WITH THE 8-BIT (up to 2 GHz bandwidth) & 3-BIT (up to 8 GHz bandwidth) SAMPLER SYSTEMS (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/cont);
    2. SPECTRAL LINE OBSERVING (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/evla/observing/spectral-line-observing); 
    3. HIGH FREQUENCY OBSERVING (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/line);
    4. LOW FREQUENCY OBSERVING (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/lofreq);
    5. VERY LOW FREQUENCY OBSERVING (< 500 MHz) (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/vlofreq);
    6. POLARIMETRY (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/pol);
    7. MOSAIC OBSERVING (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/mosaicking);
    8. RADIO FREQUENCY INTERFERENCE (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/rfi);
    9. MOVING OBJECTS (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/moving);
    10. VLBI at the VLA (https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/vlbi).
  4. *CASA COOKBOOK: The CASA "Cookbook" for use of the package for data reduction of VLA (& ALMA) data is available, along with other documentation, from the CASA home page (http://casa.nrao.edu).  See http://casa.nrao.edu/Doc/Cookbook/casa_cookbook.pdf.
  5. *AIPS COOKBOOK: The Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS) software is able to fully calibrate VLA data and do most imaging operations.   The exception is the wide-band (bandwidth synthesis) deconvolution which is being developed in CASA only.   ALMA data may also be reduced in AIPS although the package is not fully qualified to calibrate data from the ALMA linearly-polarized feeds.   The "Cookbook" description for calibration and imaging under the AIPS system can be found near all public workstations in the SOC. The latest version has expanded descriptions of data calibration imaging, cleaning, self-calibration, spectral line reduction, and VLBI reductions. See http://www.aips.nrao.edu/cook.html.
  6. *GOING AIPS: This is a two-volume programmers manual for those wishing to write programs under AIPS. It is now somewhat out of date. See http://www.aips.nrao.edu/goaips.html.
  7. *VLA CALIBRATOR MANUAL: This manual contains the list of VLA Calibrators in both 1950 and J2000 epoch and a discussion of gain and phase calibration, and polarization calibration.  See http://www.vla.nrao.edu/astro/calib/manual/.
  8. *The Very Large Array: Design and Performance of a Modern Synthesis Radio Telescope, Napier, Thompson, and Ekers, Proc. of IEEE, 71, 295, 1983.
  9. *HISTORICAL VLA MEMO SERIES: archive memo series from the early days of the VLA.  See http://www.vla.nrao.edu/memos/.
  10. *RECENT VLA MEMO SERIES: the memo series relating to the expanded capabilities of the VLA.   See http://www.aoc.nrao.edu/evla/memolist.shtml.
  11. *The VLA Expansion Project: Construction Project Book. The Expanded VLA Project Books contains the technical details of the VLA Expansion construction project. It is available online at http://www.aoc.nrao.edu/evla/pbook.shtml.
  12. INTRODUCTION TO THE NRAO VERY LARGE ARRAY (Green Book): This manual has general introductory information on the VLA. Topics include theory of interferometry, hardware descriptions, observing preparation, data reduction, image making and display. Major sections of this 1983 manual are now out of date, but it nevertheless remains the best source of information on much of the VLA. Copies of this are found at the VLA and in the SOC, but no new copies are available. Much of this document is available for downloading through the NRAO's website. It does not include any information about the hardware and software specific to the expanded Karl G. Jansky VLA.