# The Pointing Self-calibration Algorithm for Aperture Synthesis Radio Telescopes

## Abstract

This paper is concerned with algorithms for calibration of direction-dependent effects (DDE) in aperture synthesis radio telescopes (ASRT). After correction of direction-independent effects (DIE) using self-calibration, imaging performance can be limited by the imprecise knowledge of the forward gain of the elements in the array. In general, the forward gain pattern is directionally dependent and varies with time due to a number of reasons. Some factors, such as rotation of the primary beam with Parallactic Angle for Azimuth–Elevation mount antennas are known a priori. Some, such as antenna pointing errors and structural deformation/projection effects for aperture-array elements cannot be measured a priori. Thus, in addition to algorithms to correct for DD effects known a priori, algorithms to solve for DD gains are required for high dynamic range imaging. Here, we discuss a mathematical framework for antenna-based DDE calibration algorithms and show that this framework leads to computationally efficient optimal algorithms that scale well in a parallel computing environment. As an example of an antenna-based DD calibration algorithm, we demonstrate the Pointing SelfCal (PSC) algorithm to solve for the antenna pointing errors. Our analysis show that the sensitivity of modern ASRT is sufficient to solve for antenna pointing errors and othermore »

- Authors:

- National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 1003 Lopezville Road, Socorro, NM 87801 (United States)

- Publication Date:

- OSTI Identifier:
- 22663119

- Resource Type:
- Journal Article

- Resource Relation:
- Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 154; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

- Country of Publication:
- United States

- Language:
- English

- Subject:
- 79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALGORITHMS; APERTURES; ASTRONOMY; CALIBRATION; COORDINATES; CORRECTIONS; DATA ANALYSIS; DEFORMATION; ENVIRONMENT; GAIN; IMAGE PROCESSING; IMAGES; ORIENTATION; PERFORMANCE; RADIO TELESCOPES; ROTATION; SENSITIVITY; SPACE DEPENDENCE; SYNTHESIS

### Citation Formats

```
Bhatnagar, S., and Cornwell, T. J., E-mail: sbhatnag@nrao.edu.
```*The Pointing Self-calibration Algorithm for Aperture Synthesis Radio Telescopes*. United States: N. p., 2017.
Web. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/AA8F43.

```
Bhatnagar, S., & Cornwell, T. J., E-mail: sbhatnag@nrao.edu.
```*The Pointing Self-calibration Algorithm for Aperture Synthesis Radio Telescopes*. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/AA8F43.

```
Bhatnagar, S., and Cornwell, T. J., E-mail: sbhatnag@nrao.edu. Wed .
"The Pointing Self-calibration Algorithm for Aperture Synthesis Radio Telescopes". United States.
doi:10.3847/1538-3881/AA8F43.
```

```
@article{osti_22663119,
```

title = {The Pointing Self-calibration Algorithm for Aperture Synthesis Radio Telescopes},

author = {Bhatnagar, S. and Cornwell, T. J., E-mail: sbhatnag@nrao.edu},

abstractNote = {This paper is concerned with algorithms for calibration of direction-dependent effects (DDE) in aperture synthesis radio telescopes (ASRT). After correction of direction-independent effects (DIE) using self-calibration, imaging performance can be limited by the imprecise knowledge of the forward gain of the elements in the array. In general, the forward gain pattern is directionally dependent and varies with time due to a number of reasons. Some factors, such as rotation of the primary beam with Parallactic Angle for Azimuth–Elevation mount antennas are known a priori. Some, such as antenna pointing errors and structural deformation/projection effects for aperture-array elements cannot be measured a priori. Thus, in addition to algorithms to correct for DD effects known a priori, algorithms to solve for DD gains are required for high dynamic range imaging. Here, we discuss a mathematical framework for antenna-based DDE calibration algorithms and show that this framework leads to computationally efficient optimal algorithms that scale well in a parallel computing environment. As an example of an antenna-based DD calibration algorithm, we demonstrate the Pointing SelfCal (PSC) algorithm to solve for the antenna pointing errors. Our analysis show that the sensitivity of modern ASRT is sufficient to solve for antenna pointing errors and other DD effects. We also discuss the use of the PSC algorithm in real-time calibration systems and extensions for antenna Shape SelfCal algorithm for real-time tracking and corrections for pointing offsets and changes in antenna shape.},

doi = {10.3847/1538-3881/AA8F43},

journal = {Astronomical Journal (Online)},

number = 5,

volume = 154,

place = {United States},

year = {Wed Nov 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},

month = {Wed Nov 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}

}