15 July 2016 Not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good: steps toward science-ready ALMA images
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Abstract
Historically, radio observatories have placed the onus of calibrating and imaging data on the observer, thus restricting their user base to those already initiated into the mysteries of radio data or those willing to develop these skills. To expand its user base, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has a high- level directive to calibrate users' data and, ultimately, to deliver scientifically usable images or cubes to principle investigators (PIs). Although an ALMA calibration pipeline is in place, all delivered images continue to be produced for the PI by hand. In this talk, I will describe on-going efforts at the Northern American ALMA Science Center to produce more uniform imaging products that more closely meet the PI science goals and provide better archival value. As a first step, the NAASC imaging group produced a simple imaging template designed to help scientific staff produce uniform imaging products. This script allowed the NAASC to maximize the productivity of data analysts with relatively little guidance by the scientific staff by providing a step-by-step guide to best practices for ALMA imaging. Finally, I will describe the role of the manually produced images in verifying the imaging pipeline and the on-going development of said pipeline. The development of the imaging template, while technically simple, shows how small steps toward unifying processes and sharing knowledge can lead to large gains for science data products.
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Amanda A. Kepley, Jennifer Donovan Meyer, Crystal Brogan, Arielle Moullet, John Hibbard, Remy Indebetouw, Brian Mason, "Not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good: steps toward science-ready ALMA images", Proc. SPIE 9910, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI, 99100C (15 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231737; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231737
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