[Document created to allow for a concise, central location of things needed for phased array mode of VLA.]

The following is intended as an (internal?) set of steps designed to assure ourselves that scientific observations of pulsars can commence on the VLA. There is an active proposal [VLA/13A-431, "Monitoring the flux from eclipsing binary pulsar Terzan 5A" (P}: Anna Ho), active until 2014 January], and we have an active DDT proposal [VLA/13A-510, DDT Exploratory Time "Phased Array Observations of Pulsars with the JVLA," active through the end of semester 2013B] that can be used to conduct observations in support of certain steps.

The following are the steps, with a preliminary indication of people involved.
  • Confirm that wide-band search data (of B0329+54) taken August 9 yields "detection'' of pulsar [Paul];
  • Determine if all wide-band phasing problems arise from RFI;
  • Confirm that imaging data taken during pulsar testing is "good," in the sense that phasing observations of calibrators yield images that do not have artifacts or errors due to pulsar software also running [Robert, Joe, Shami, Jim];
  • Enhance robustness of pulsar software, then test [Paul, Scott];
    • Implement and verify 2-bit mode [Paul, Scott, Michael];
    • Implement Bryan's ``state diagram'' for processing, including adding an ABORT condition, and determining if yuppi_gluer is needed in it [Scott, Robert, Bryan];
    • Develop a way to identify scripts/SBs/subarrays so non-pulsar observations can be conducted without the pulsar software shutting itself down [Bryan, Paul];
    • Arrange for a new VCI attribute, probably in summedArray which causes VDIF packets to be transmitted on SFP1 instead of SFP2, which causes VDIF packets have priority (because there is plenty of buffering for lag frames), and which ensures that the destination IP and MAC addresses are the same as where lag frames are being sent from that board [Ken, Bryan?];
    • Determine how to account for bandpass, then implement solution;
    • Ensure that windowing within correlator can be controlled or is set properly [Ken, Michael, Bryan];
    • Make yuppi_gluer [Robert, Paul];
  • Develop initial .vci files for S- (completed?), C-, and X-bands [Robert, Michael];
  • Make images of Sgr A* at C- and Ku bands, from Archive data [Robert, Joe, Shami, Jim];
  • Confirm that we can phase on Sgr A* while simultaneously taking pulsar data;
  • Observe B1929+10 for 0.5 hour, L-band "fold mode," to check polarization;
  • Observe B1929$+$10 for 0.5 hour, S-band "fold mode," to check polarization
  • Observe B1937$+$21 for 1 hour, L-band "fold mode," with multiple (10+) restarts;
  • Observe ?? for 1 hour, L-band "search mode," with multiple (10+) restarts (need pulsar that's "fast" but keep data rate around 25 MB/s);
  • Observe B2020+28 (TBC) for 3 hours, Ku-band "search mode";
  • Observe J1746-2850 or B1758-23 for 1 hour, Ku-band "search mode," if phasing on Sgr A* is not possible.
-- JosephLazio - 2013-11-16
Topic revision: r1 - 2013-11-16, JosephLazio
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