radio interferometry simulator

On the first day of my jury duty stint at NY State Criminal Court, I wrote a simulator for a radio telescope array. It seems to work, though I don't have any unit or functional tests yet. The nice thing is it simulates a thermally—not coherently—emitting source. That was a bit non-trivial to get right. When the source is thermally emitting, the correlation amplitudes are very noisy, but the phases can still be very well measured. This is all part of getting intuition about noise models for radio arrays.

Columbia astronomer Jennifer Sokoloski is also serving on jury duty; we took the opportunity to have a conversation about accreting white dwarfs and supernovae. Sokoloski has some data on resolved stellar environments (circumstellar shells and winds) that might benefit from The Thresher.


  1. There's a pretty sophisticated radio array simulator called AIPY that might be of interest to you:

  2. A paper for your reading pleasure, to help with that intuition building: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1994AJ....108..337D