The ALMA Re-Imaging (ARI) development study

Principal Investigator: Marcella Massardi

Institute: The National Institute for Astrophysics, Italy (Bologna)


In the first 5 years of ALMA operations, data for more than 1000 projects have been calibrated and manually imaged for quality assessment purposes before being delivered to the PI and being added to the ALMA Science Archive.

However, imaging is a time-consuming process and therefore the data-reducers only image one or a few sources and only one or a few spectral windows and only one or a few lines that were requested by the PI. This is the reason why the vast majority of the raw data has no image product associated with it. In fact it turns out that during manual imaging less than 10% of the science channels contained in the raw data are actually converted into FITS cubes.

We here propose a study to evaluate the feasibility and efforts of using the ALMA Imaging Pipeline - once accepted - to image the available calibrated science data of Cycle 0, 1, 2, and 3 and to ingest the resulting products into the official ALMA Science Archive.

Such a complete set of imaging products would be highly relevant for all science-cases and would dramatically improve the user-experience of archival research. Also, archived cubes for all the datasets will allow to show previews, easing the access to the Archive also to non-expert archive-miners.

Furthermore they would allow to link the Archive to several tools of visualization and analysis (e.g. VO, CARTA, ADMIT...).

The proposed study is fully in line with the “ASAC recommendation for ALMA 2030” which includes into their top-priority recommendation that the Archive should be improved in order to gain in usability and impact for the observatory.