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Optimizing Image Fidelity with Arrays


Corder, Stuartt Allan (2009) Optimizing Image Fidelity with Arrays. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Q7H2-2P58.


Through simulations, I have investigated the limitations imposed upon the image fidelity of interferometric observations by primary beam errors. Significant antenna surface and pointing errors lead to the greatest reduction in fidelity for most cases, but, when present, imaginary beam components dominate the degradation. Beam errors were addressed by optimizing the antenna surfaces and aligning the optics and then determining baseline based primary beams. Methods for applying these measured patterns to actual data were discussed. Pointing errors were reduced by improving the fit to the pointing model. Further reduction was achieved by integrating the use of optical pointing observations into standard radio observing. The greatest benefit was seen during daytime observations, but general reduction in pointing error was seen.

The dense uv-coverage of the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) coupled with the techniques described above make it an ideal instrument for imaging extended regions with high fidelity. The NGC 7538 star-forming cloud contains dense peaks, many high-mass stars and associated accretion disks, and multiple outflows. I obtained CARMA images at the requisite fidelity, employing the above techniques. These mosaiced, spectral-line, and 3-mm band continuum observations provide a clearer picture of the bulk morphology of the region and the fine-scale structures within it than has hitherto been possible. For the first time in the region, infall signatures were found towards two sources, allowing comparison of the infall and outflow mass and verifying that significant accretion (>10−4M yr−1) continues well into the stage where a massive protostar has formed. One of the sources, NGC 7538IRS1, shows one of the few definitive signatures of an inverse PCygni profile towards a massive protostar. Three outflows were found centered on sources that are separated by 10,000-20,000 AU in projection. The calculated energy injection rate provides constraints for models of outflow feedback. The NGC 7538 results demonstrate clearly the capability of CARMA to provide high quality images over wide-fields and the benefits of the techniques I developed. While work to improve CARMA image fidelity continues, the program described here lays the groundwork and should help guide further enhancements of image fidelity at CARMA and at other radio facilities.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:beam size; holography; NGC7538S; voltage patterns
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Astrophysics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Sargent, Anneila Isabel
Group:Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO), Astronomy Department
Thesis Committee:
  • Blake, Geoffrey A. (chair)
  • Sargent, Anneila Isabel
  • Phinney, E. Sterl
  • Carpenter, John M.
  • Wright, Melvyn
  • Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.
Defense Date:29 August 2008
Non-Caltech Author Email:scorder (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10172008-054754
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4146
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:22 Dec 2008
Last Modified:26 Nov 2019 20:24

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