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천문학회지(JKAS) , Vol.52 no.5 (2019)
pp.207~216

DOI : 10.5303/JKAS.2019.52.5.207

VLBI NETWORK SIMULATOR: AN INTEGRATED SIMULATION TOOL FOR RADIO ASTRONOMERS

Zhen Zhao

(Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Key Laboratory of Radio Astronomy, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Tao An

(Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Key Laboratory of Radio Astronomy, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Baoqiang Lao

(Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Key Laboratory of Radio Astronomy, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

In this paper we introduce a software package, the Very long baseline interferometry Network SIMulator (VNSIM), which provides an integrated platform assisting radio astronomers to design Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) experiments and evaluate the network performance, with a userfriendly interface. Though VNSIM is primarily motivated by the East Asia VLBI Network, it can also be used for other VLBI networks and generic interferometers. The software package not only integrates the functionality of plotting (u; v) coverage, scheduling the observation, and displaying the dirty and CLEAN images, but also adds new features including sensitivity calculations for a given VLBI network. VNSIM provides exible interactions on both command line and graphical user interface and oers friendly support for log reports and database management. Multi-processing acceleration is also supported, enabling users to handle large survey data. To facilitate future developments and updates, all simulation functions are encapsulated in separate Python modules, allowing independent invoking and testing. In order to verify the performance of VNSIM, we performed simulations and compared the results with other simulation tools, showing good agreement.

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