Canadian Initiative for Radio Astronomy Data Analysis (CIRADA)

From / de Bryan Gaensler (CIRADA director)
(Cassiopeia – Spring / printemps 2021)

The Canadian Initiative for Radio Astronomy Data Analysis (CIRADA) is producing science-ready public data products for large surveys being conducted with three telescopes: the Very Large Array (VLA), the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), and the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME). These products (e.g., images, cubes, time series spectra, catalogues, databases, alerts, pipeline algorithms, and software tools) utilize Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR) services and will be searchable and usable by professional astronomers and the general public, through the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC). CIRADA also serves as a pilot project for Canada’s planned Square Kilometre Array Regional Centre (SKA).

Currently our services include:

  1. A “Quicklook Catalogue” of 1.7 million radio sources from the first epoch of the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS)
  2. An Image Cutout Provider that allows astronomers to quickly visualize data from multiple surveys (VLASS Quicklook, GLEAM, FIRST, NVSS, WISE, PanSTARRS, SDSS I-II) at a given position in the sky and to download the data for further analysis
  3. The RM-Tools software package for radio polarimetry analysis, including 1D and 3D RM synthesis, RM-clean and QU fitting on polarized radio spectra

By the end of 2021 we will be making many more software and data products available through the CIRADA portal, including PINK, a self-organizing map (SOM) that can be used (i) to produce catalogues of double and multiple radio sources, (ii) to classify radio sources as either complex or simple sources, (iii) to find source orientations, and (iv) as an annotation tool. We will be using PINK to extend the existing VLASS Quicklook component catalogue, to produce a new VLASS single epoch catalogue, and to contribute toward source catalogues for the EMU continuum survey on ASKAP. In addition to the SOM, we will be releasing “Hydra”, a comparison and analysis tool that can be used to compare multiple source-finding algorithms on radio continuum data, and the initial catalogue produced by the VLASS Quicklook Transient Marshal. Users of our science-ready data products will be able to leverage the Cube Analysis and Rendering Tool for Astronomy (CARTA) for viewing images data and tabular catalogues directly through our portal.

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