AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 153 Computation, Data Handling, Image Analysis
Poster, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[153.16] The NRAO Data Archive and VLA/VLBA Pipelines in AIPS

L.O. Sjouwerman (National Radio Astronomy Observatory), G.B. Taylor (National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Kavli Institute of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology), J.M. Benson (National Radio Astronomy Observatory)

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) has recently made the NRAO data archive accessible through the world-wide web (http://archive.nrao.edu). Currently all the Very Large Array (VLA) data are available, either in the public domain or with a password for new, proprietary data. Similarly, data from the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) are included as soon as data becomes available through new observations, or from the recovery of old data archived to tape. By having the data much more readily available, in particular new user groups may want to take advantage of adding archival radio observations to their multi-wavelength studies of celestial objects. Because the archives of radio-interferometric instruments such as the VLA and VLBA do not contain images of the sky at radio wavelengths, but store complex visibilities instead, a way to facilitate easier use of the NRAO archive by non-radio astronomers and non-interferometrists is the semi-automatic data handling toward a first acceptable image using generic pipelines. Currently these pipelines exist as procedures, named VLARUN and VLBAPIPE, in the classic Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS) package distributed by NRAO (http://www.nrao.edu). Though not yet fully matured, these pipelines allow the user of archive data, or the user of new observations, to obtain an initial image of a region of interest. This will allow a rapid judgement of whether or not the scientific goals can be met with this particular data set. The initial image may be readily improved, e.g., with additional data editing or by hybrid mapping techniques. We demonstrate the use of the NRAO archive and AIPS pipelines, and welcome suggestions to further improve and expand usage of the archive.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

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