Useful information for observations: List of astronomical Target, Pako scripts, Real Time Analysis, Observing strategies

List of Astronomical Target for Nika End 2012 run5

FXD: First version for planets (14/06/2012)

v2 (2/10/2012) prepare Thursday teleconf

v3: several updates all along the reun, starting on 13/11/2012; all these updates start with the key word NEW

Back to the NIKA run5 page

1. Planets Mars, Uranus, Neptune for photometric calibration (primary calibrators)


Right Ascension


Size (arcsecond diameter)

Flux @ 1.25 mm

Flux @ 2.05 mm





132.072 Jy

45.448 Jy





51.637 Jy

17.897 Jy





18.926 Jy

6.566 Jy

Here are the ephemeris for the planets

2. Usual bright quasars

Pointing quasars

3. Strong Galactic sources

Strong galactic sources Here is IRAM report on Secondary Calibrators

4. Weak Galactic sources

Weak galactic sources

5. External extended galaxies

Nearby galaxies

6. High redshift sources

Distant galaxies

7. Deep survey and SZ sources

Deep survey and cluster of galaxies

Here is the full detailed formatted list Full list with fluxes

Here is the catalog for Pako NIKA2012N5v1.Final.sou.txt has to be RENAMED to NIKA.sou on the pako computer (Done 5/11/2012)

Here is a list of IRAM pointing sources with fluxes at 3mm and 2mm (I miss fluxes at 1mm, SL) FluxForPointingSources

Interface with the telescope: Pako

Short manual on useful "Pako for Nika" commands: NEW (14/11/12, 18/11/12 SL) Pako_helpv14.txt

NEW (12/11/12, SL): Hans' memo about the Tones tuning scripts in Pako: ncs30mProjectsPlanningNIKA.pdf

Here is a collection of Pako scripts to gain time and have a reference on the observations we will do (to use them rename the files without the .txt, 2nd version updated with slower mapping speed to minimize tracking errors, 3rd version include pako line continuation sign (-)):

NEW (17/11/12, SL): Maximum_OTF_speed_vs_Elevation.txt => a table showing the maximum velocities possible for the scans for various elevations.

NEW (14/11/12, SL) init file for pako: ini.pako automatically loaded with the pakoNIKA command; the old nini.pako -renamed as nin_OLD.pako- is deprecated and will cause errors if loaded.

ListAstroTargetNika3/OTF_pointing.pako => OTFMAP 100"x84" in 22 subscan x 10 s = 4+1 ~= 5 min (10"/s) with 2.6 samples (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for pointing & focus). 10s = minimum subscan time possible (Pako doesn't authorizes less), hence the choice of subscan length. Scan height changed from 60" to 92" to have more margins for the useful pixels.

ListAstroTargetNika3/OTF_geometry.pako => OTFMAP 300"x220" in 56 subscan x 20 s = 19+3 ~= 22 min (15"/s) with 2.6 samples (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for the array geometry = pixels map in sky)

ListAstroTargetNika3/OTF_ps.pako => OTFMAP 140"x90" in 19 subscan x 14 s = 4+1 ~= 5 min (10"/s) with 2 sample (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for point source observations)

ListAstroTargetNika3/OTF_2x2.pako => OTFMAP 120"x120" in 25 subscan x 12 s = 5+1 ~= 6 min (10"/s) with 2 samples (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for extended source < 2')

ListAstroTargetNika3/OTF_5x5.pako => OTFMAP 300"x300" in 51 subscan x 20 s = 17+3 ~= 20 min (15"/s) with 1.7 samples (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for extended source < 5')

ListAstroTargetNika3/OTF_10x10.pako => OTFMAP 600"x600" in 41 subscan x 30 s = 20+4 ~= 24 min (20"/s) with 0.7 samples (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for very extended source < 10')

ListAstroTargetNika3/OTF_faint_source.pako => OTFMAP 120"x80" in 21 subscan x 12 s = 4.2+0.8 ~= 5 min (10"/s) with 2.6 samples (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for faint sources)

ListAstroTargetNika3/OTF_deep_field.pako => OTFMAP 360"x360" in 61 subscan x 20 s = 20+4 ~= 24 min (18"/s) with 1.7 samples (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for faint sources)

ListAstroTargetNika3/OTF_sz.pako => OTFMAP 360"x240" in 41 subscan x 20 s = 14+3 ~= 17 min (18"/s) with 1.7 samples (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for faint sources)

ListAstroTargetNika3/OTF_moon.pako => OTFMAP 2000"x 2000" in 34 subscan x 40 s = 23+3 ~= 26 min with 0.17 samples (subscan step = 60) per convolved 1mm HPBW (to look at the moon in bad weather)

NEW (18/11/12, SL):

diy-test-00.pako => 11 sec scan at (440";330") off-source (equivalent to TRACK with an offset) sending a specific key word for tuning

diy-test-03.pako => equivalent to a 800"x700" OTF, but with 10 sec pause between each subscan and sending a specific key word for tuning

diy-test-12.pako => equivalent to tip, between 1.1 and 3.5 airmasses with 6 steps of 0.4 airmass, including a 11 sec pause followed by 22 sec integration, and sending a specific key word for tuning between each step of the sky dip.

OTF_geom_below70degEl.pako => OTFMAP 420"x 220" (step 4) in 56 subscans x 12 s = 11+3 ~= 14 min (35"/s) with 2.6 samples (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for the array geometry = pixels map in sky: much faster than previous OTF_geometry, while keeping oversampling the diffraction pattern; guarenteed to work well below 70 degrees elevation.

OTF_faint_source_Az.pako => OTFMAP 120"x 90"(step 6) in 16 subscan x 10 s = 3+1. ~= 4 min. (12"/s) with 2 samples (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (for faint sources, slightly different that OTF_faint_source.pako), subscan in Azimuth, steps in Elevation

OTF_faint_source_El.pako => same as previous one, except that subscans are in Elevation, steps in Azimuth

OTF_faint_source_RA.pako => same as previous one, except that subscans are in Right Ascension, steps in Declination

OTF_faint_source_Dec.pako => same as previous one, except that subscans are in Declination, steps in Right Ascension

OTF_10x10_faster_Az.pako => OTFMAP 600"x 600" (step 15) in 41 subscan x 20 s = 14+5 ~= 19 min. (30"/s) with 0.7 individual pixel sample (subscan step) per convolved 1mm HPBW (slightly different that OTF_10x10.pako), subscan in Azimuth, steps in Elevation

OTF_10x10_faster_El.pako => same as previous one, except that subscans are in Elevation, steps in Azimuth

Here's an excel sheet which helps to find the best focus thanks to a 2nd order polynomial line trend fitting on beam width and amplitude (note that amplitude is much more robust):

Full focus Excel only,

Best focus with basic 2nd order polynomial

Real Time Analysis

New (12/11/12, SL): Xavier's and Robert's memo to start real time Mopsic analysis: HelpMopsicSecurForWiki.txt (there is also a README in the directory, where the pointings & foci should be processed)

Userl Manual for the Real time analysis: User Manual RTAnalysis

Recommandations for the Pointing Sessions

- NEW (18/11/12, SL). Available pointing sources are displayed on Xephem, together with Antenna position.The default catalogues loaded are NIKA2012R5.edb and pointing_sources.edb. The later display fluxes as "_mK" appended to the source name, but the coordinates are in J1950; to avoid confusion delete pointing_sources.edb, and load instead pointingIRAM30m.edb showing all the pointing source of the IRAM data base and NIKA_StrongPointSources.edb, which gather the 20 strongest sources with indicative (few years old) fluxes @ 2mm appended to the names; both catalogues are in J2000 and the symbols are proportional to the flux.

- NEW (18/11/12, SL). The pointing source catalogue to use in PaKo is iram-J2000.sou; it is identical to pointingIRAM30m.edb expect that if loaded in Xephem the sources appear with the default symbol which is used in the NIKA2012R5.edb catalogue

- Before starting the pointing session, we may be requested to move the azimuth by 60deg to reset the inclinometer of the az axis.

- Always stay at more that 1 deg from the Sun. There are internal safeties that prevent the antenna to point to the Sun, but we may not get error messages.

- try to get sources uniformly distributed on the sky, hence give priority to high elevation sources that are usually harder to reach.

- Do one focus at the beginning. No need to do more focus than one every 2-3hours.

The antenna can point between 60 and 460 degrees in azimuth, between 20 and 80 degrees in elevation.

- If a source is available both at low and high azimuth, use command SET TOTO LOW (or SET TOPO HIGH) to stay on the source without moving.

- The minimum number of sources to observe for the pointing model is 15. 30 is good enough.

- the pointing sources should be observed on 'short' period, e.g. 3-4 hours to avoid daily pointing variations

Observing procedures, strategies for performance verification and debugging

Note: good focus depend on geometry which depend on focus ==> iterative process.

How to find the elevation axis with the observation ? This is degenerate with the pointing model => Iterative approach => accumulate statistics. Due to the degeneracy one as to make a choice on the strategy for the definition of the center of rotation of the array (rotation with elevation of the sky image). After discussions the next days: at the start of the run we will choose the best of the 4 pixels at the center of the array and define it as the center for the pointing model.

For skydips: for each subscan, a calibration is done in order to find the central frequency of each kid

IMBFITS format: keep same structure as before run (e.g. with a fixed number of pixels close to the maximum available, not a varying number of pixels)

Strategy to investigate the Plateau

Since we see the plateau on 31/05/2012 pointing scans with crosses patterns, we will use these fast scans to investigate the plateau, the width should be larger than the plateau itself, that is to say bigger than the array with margins ==> 3 arcmin widths.

Here we will use Uranus, which is fainter than Mars and should yield a representative plateau for fainter sources. We will try crosses with different setting

In any case, scatter off-resonance tones across the frequency range of both arrays.

This should allow us to determine whether the plateau is a pure electronic effect, and have ideas on what causes it.

Sensitivity optimization

In order to measure the sensitivity, we should just make small OTF on Neptune (or a bright quasar or MWC349) for calibration then a the same on an empty field for noise measurement. Repeat this sequence with different settings.

Need for a correct focal plane geometry

Science demonstration requirement

We want to show typical science demonstration data in five areas where we can compare our results with previous (Mambo, Laboca, JCMT, Bolocam) bolometer array results. We have about 16 hours for 7 days. Taking out 5 hours for calibration (calibration on planets and secondary calibrators, pointing, focus, skydip), we are left with 11x7=77 hours of science scans, which we spread this way, with the sources in order of priority:

  1. Dense Galactic regions (15h)
  2. Extended galaxies (12h) M82, M87, CygA, NGC1068,
  3. Faint sources (14h)
  4. Deep survey (16h)
  5. Clusters of galaxies (20h)

Here is a priority list of targets (see the complete list above).

  1. Galactic regions, From brighter to fainter
    • 1.1. Large map of OrionLBS23SM 1.2. Large map of DR21 1.3. Large map of Crab, CasA 1.4. Map of NGC2023 1.5. Map of the horsehead
  2. Extended galaxies
    • 2.1. M82 2.2. NGC1068 2.3. M87 2.4. CygA 2.5. NGC891 2.6. NGC3690
  3. Faint point sources 3.1. Galactic faint sources 3.2. high redshift objects starting with 10 mJy sources at 1mm:
    • Arp220, 4C05.19, APM08279+5255, MM18423, SMMJ2135, HAT083051, HAT113526, HAT114637, HAT133008, HSO_ID141, HAT133649, HAT134429, HAT141351 H1413+517, F10214+4724, HLSW01, BR1202-0725, BRI1335-0417, SBS1408+567, , HSO_ID017, HSO_ID081, HSO_ID011,HSO_ID130.
  4. Deep survey: The idea is to cover a field with 1mJy rms sensitivity at 1mm and 0.5mJy at 2mm, this is about one hour per camera FOV (about one arcmin^2). Map should be 3x4 arcmin. Exact field to be decided around a faint source (5-10 mJy)
  5. Clusters of galaxies

Priority is on detection

In case of a strong and not-understood plateau, the mapping of high-contrast extended targets should be limited. The search for point-sources should be reinforced.

Quick introduction to the NIKA IDL software

To use the NIKA Software, you must checkout the codes maintained under subversion and install a few external libraries. To do so:

1. SVN

2. External libraries:

3. Provided you have the data files on your laptop, you should be all set.

Status of observations

Current status of observations

ListOfAstroTarget2012N5 (last edited 2013-02-06 13:30:15 by NikaBolometer)