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Paper: A Simulation Tool for Aperture Synthesis
Volume: 217, Imaging at Radio Through Submillimeter Wavelengths
Page: 350
Authors: Coulais, A.; Viallefond, F.
Abstract: A general purpose tool to simulate radio-observations has been developed in the GIPSY environment. Main goal is to simulate and to optimize the future ALMA array. Main originalities of this tool is heterogeneous arrays can be simulated (up to 3 antennae size). From model brightness distributions this tool derives simulated visibilities, single-dish fluxes, dirty and ideal cleaned images, dirty and primary beams. Arrays can be simulated with up to 128 antennas. There is the possibility of illuminating antennas with several patches to measure very short spacings and to diminish shadowing. Several families of geometry for the array configurations are available. Currently several observational modes possible: single pointing and mosaicing, snap-shots and super-synthesis, multi-configurations. Shadowing is considered. Because of the large number of correlations expected with an array such as ALMA an algorithm has been developed to speed-up the gridding. The outputs are useful to determine the feasibility of an observational project with existing arrays and to evaluate new techniques in the reconstruction process. Current developments now focused on instrumental errors (pointing errors, atmospheric phase noise, ...).
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