Simdata New Users Guide 3.1
Explanation of the guide
This guide is intended to be used as an initial walk-through of how to use simdata. We will start with an image similar to something that might be observed with ALMA, and then we will show how to rescale the image and predict how it will look when observed with different antenna configurations.
We will assume only a general knowledge of interferometry and no specific knowledge of CASA.
The two things you need to get started are:
- The image to work with
- The current version of CASA
To get the image, download the Spitzer IRAC 8 micron image of 30 Doradus from the Simulation Inputs CASA Guide page.
To install CASA, follow the instructions given here. This guide was written for CASA version 3.1
Because simdata is a task within CASA, we start here with a brief introduction to some CASA basics.
Getting Your Input Image Into Simdata
Now tell simdata where to find the model (input) image and how to scale it appropriately for our purposes.
# modifymodel = True # skymodel = '30dor.fits'
We are using a Spitzer 8 micron image of 30 Doradus in this example, and we are going to ask simdata to modify this image in some important ways:
- Angular scale
- Observed wavelength
- Brightness scale
If you open the fits image of 30 Doradus in your favorite viewer, you will see that it covers quite a large footprint on the sky, about 10' on a side. We are going to tell simdata to rescale the pixels to shrink the image by roughly a factor of 15 (from 3.6" to 0.25" pixels) so that the model is approximately 40" on a side. This rescaled model will fit within a small mosaic of 6 pointings. Although we do this primarily for convenience in this example, a scientific motivation for this type of rescaling would be to approximate what a super-giant HII region like 30 Doradus would look like if moved from the Large Magellanic Cloud to the distance of M33 or M31.
The model image of 30 Doradus shows the 8 micron continuum emission. ALMA does not observe at wavelengths this short, so we will tell simdata that this is actually a 230 GHz (1.3 mm) continuum map. We will also tell simdata that the observations were taken with a 2 GHz bandwidth, though for this particular example that is not a critical number.