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VLBI NETWORK SIMULATOR: AN INTEGRATED SIMULATION TOOL FOR RADIO ASTRONOMERS

  • Zhao, Zhen ;
  • An, Tao ;
  • Lao, Baoqiang
  • Received : 2018.07.29
  • Accepted : 2019.08.21
  • Published : 2019.10.31

Abstract

In this paper we introduce a software package, the Very long baseline interferometry Network SIMulator (VNSIM), which provides an integrated platform assisting radio astronomers to design Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) experiments and evaluate the network performance, with a user-friendly interface. Though VNSIM is primarily motivated by the East Asia VLBI Network, it can also be used for other VLBI networks and generic interferometers. The software package not only integrates the functionality of plotting (u, v) coverage, scheduling the observation, and displaying the dirty and CLEAN images, but also adds new features including sensitivity calculations for a given VLBI network. VNSIM provides flexible interactions on both command line and graphical user interface and offers friendly support for log reports and database management. Multi-processing acceleration is also supported, enabling users to handle large survey data. To facilitate future developments and updates, all simulation functions are encapsulated in separate Python modules, allowing independent invoking and testing. In order to verify the performance of VNSIM, we performed simulations and compared the results with other simulation tools, showing good agreement.

Keywords

techniques: interferometric;methods: numerical

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Ministry of Science and Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), National Natural Science Foundation of China