KFPA Pipeline Development

Note that much of the content of this documentation is out of date. Please refer to the GBT Pipeline documentation instead!!!

This web page summarizes the KFPA pipeline history, outlines the current python pipeline code and provides hints for developers wishing to update the pipeline. The major software components are summarized: sdfits, gbtpipeline, idlToSdfits, AIPS, Obit/ParselTongue and IDL code to extract parameters from image data cubes.

KFPA Pipeline History

The KFPA data reduction pipeline began as a set of IDL scripts run inside the GBTIDL environment. These scripts were developed by Glen Langston and Katie Chynoweth for GBT HI observations and then modified for higher frequency astro-chemistry applications.

When the KFPA project became an NRAO priority, Joe Masters and Bob Garwood took over development and more fully integrated parts of the IDL code into the GBTIDL environment. As the development progressed, it was determined that the calibration part of the pipeline would be written in python. Joe Masters took the lead in this effort, with Glen and Bob writing supporting documentation. Glen Langston created all of the imaging procedures and Bob created support tools in GBTIDL for analysis of data input into the pipeline. Glen made regular quality control checks of pipeline progress.

The python code is being developed using the git source control system. In the following sections we give examples of how the contributor may add to the gbtpipeline.

Software Components

This section summarizes the major software components of the pipeline and their intended interactions.


The real-time gbt single dish fits filler (sdfits) reliably converts all single dish spectra into a GBT single dish fits format file.

Bob Garwood to describe the real-time filler and how it is run. Also where to access the most real-time filler data and start up gbtidl to examine it.


The gbtpipeline performs the calibration steps on the gbt spectra and initiates automatically conversion of the calibrated spectra to AIPS input format spectra and then initiates imaging of individual mapping blocks.



Glen Langston wrote a program to convert calibrated GBT spectra, from GBTIDL, into a format acceptable to AIPS. In addition to formatting changes, idlToSdfits also performs a number of flagging and data selection functions.

Glen Langston to expand this section


The imaging components of the pipeline are implemented using AIPS. We summarize the most used AIPS tasks.

Glen Langston


The parselTongue language provides a scripting interface to AIPS functionality. The parselTongue python code is kept at the JIVE web site: http://www.jive.nl/

Joe Masters included parselTongue in the gbtpipeline release. Glen Langston created the imaging and analysis scripts for the pipeline.

GBTIDL tools

A number of important tools, written for the GBTIDL environment are critical for determination of proper KFPA (and other Receiver observations)

These procedures are summarized here.

Bob Garwood and Glen Langston

These functions include

  • showtsys
  • getcal
  • getsigref
  • and other procedures in /home/astro-util/gbtidl/contrib

-- GlenLangston - 2011-03-09
Topic revision: r5 - 2013-06-06, JoeMasters
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