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Post-correlation Data Review

Figure 3: Post-correlation review process for an experiment.
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Our main priority is always the quality of the data we provide to the EVN users. Our internal data review process, as shown in Figure 3, begins by transforming the lag-based correlator output into AIPS++ Measurement Sets (MS). This MS contains a data-cube of the real & imaginary components of the correlation-function spanning, for each subband of each baseline/autocorrelation, $N_{\rm pol}$, $N_{\rm int}$, and $N_{\rm frq}$ (or $N_{\rm lag}$, if the need arises). We can then investigate, using the glish language, slices of the correlation functions in both time and frequency/lag, allowing us to detect and diagnose various problems with the recorded data or the correlation itself, and to determine any scans for which recorrelation would be profitable. We can also make various plots more suited to providing feedback to the stations rather than to the PI (e.g., parity-error rates, sampler statistics). We apply various corrections to the correlated data at this stage (e.g., the 2-bit van Vleck compensation, cf §2.4). We also flag subsets of the data for low weights and other known problems resulting in (uncorrectable) spurious correlation amplitudes and/or phases.

The last step converts the final MS into FITS format, usually written to a DAT tape. We send this to the PI, along with a summary of the correlation itself. The FITS DAT can can be read into AIPS directly using FITLD. We also make various diagnostic plots available to the PI. The EVN pipeline operates on the FITS data to create the first few AIPS CL tables (e.g., $T_{\rm sys}$-based amplitude calibration, off-source flagging, etc.), which put the data in a state that the PI can use more easily. Plots, summaries, and pipeline results also go to the EVN archive (accessible via The FITS files themselves, subject to release policies that are still under review, will also be available from this archive.

next up previous
Next: Statistical Summary Up: Operational Overview Previous: Correlation & Logistics
Bob Campbell 2003-09-22