The NOD3 software package: A graphical user interface-supported reduction package for single-dish radio continuum and polarisation observations
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Received: 29 May 2017
Accepted: 13 July 2017
Context. The venerable NOD2 data reduction software package for single-dish radio continuum observations, which was developed for use at the 100-m Effelsberg radio telescope, has been successfully applied over many decades. Modern computing facilities, however, call for a new design.
Aims. We aim to develop an interactive software tool with a graphical user interface for the reduction of single-dish radio continuum maps. We make a special effort to reduce the distortions along the scanning direction (scanning effects) by combining maps scanned in orthogonal directions or dual- or multiple-horn observations that need to be processed in a restoration procedure. The package should also process polarisation data and offer the possibility to include special tasks written by the individual user.
Methods. Based on the ideas of the NOD2 package we developed NOD3, which includes all necessary tasks from the raw maps to the final maps in total intensity and linear polarisation. Furthermore, plot routines and several methods for map analysis are available. The NOD3 package is written in Python, which allows the extension of the package via additional tasks. The required data format for the input maps is FITS.
Results. The NOD3 package is a sophisticated tool to process and analyse maps from single-dish observations that are affected by scanning effects from clouds, receiver instabilities, or radio-frequency interference. The “basket-weaving” tool combines orthogonally scanned maps into a final map that is almost free of scanning effects. The new restoration tool for dual-beam observations reduces the noise by a factor of about two compared to the NOD2 version. Combining single-dish with interferometer data in the map plane ensures the full recovery of the total flux density.
Conclusions. This software package is available under the open source license GPL for free use at other single-dish radio telescopes of the astronomical community. The NOD3 package is designed to be extendable to multi-channel data represented by data cubes in Stokes I, Q, and U.
Key words: methods: data analysis / techniques: image processing / techniques: polarimetric / radio continuum: general
© ESO, 2017