New development study to investigate the potential of ALMA Advanced Data Products

Published: 26 Apr 2022
Curious spiral spotted by ALMA around red giant star R Sculptoris (data visualisation) Curious spiral spotted by ALMA around red giant star R Sculptoris (data visualisation)

Current ALMA products can be characterized as "science-ready calibration, informative imaging". This means that PIs and archive users may need to repeat the imaging process to obtain products that are optimised for their specific scientific analysis. The purpose of this new development study is to investigate the potential interest of generating "science-optimised" products. These Advanced Data Products may include:

  • science-grade products for every ALMA observing project;
  • high-level science products based on, e.g., the combination of different observations of the same object;
  • derived products such as catalogues, spectra, SEDs, etc.

For this study, the team will focus on two specific activities, with the aim to gain practical experience:

  1. Catalogue of continuum sources
    ALMA has observed large portions of the sky in continuum, with many detections of point sources. The ALMA Science Archive provides access to the images, but it would be particularly useful for the community to have access to a catalog of those detections, especially when preparing an ALMA proposal. The goal of this activity is to investigate the possibility of having an automated process to extract point sources from public ALMA images and store their details into a catalog.
  2. Archive user science intent
    The reduction process of ALMA observations - from raw data to the final image - involves many steps, with parameters that can be tweaked.
    The ALMA Pipeline was designed to be entirely automated (i.e., no human interaction). The outcome of this automated process is an image that is mainly based on the PI's requests in the observing proposal. However, parameters for the processing and in particular, the imaging, can be optimized for other science intents. Some examples of intent are: high-fidelity imaging, high-dynamic-range imaging, Astrometry (no self-calibration).
    The goal of this second activity is to study the feasibility of ascribing one (or more, if appropriate) science intent(s) to the imaging products in the ALMA science archive.