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Time-distance helioseismology aims to measure and interpret the travel times of waves propagating between two points located on the solar surface. The travel times are then inverted to infer sub-surface properties that are encoded in the measurements. The trajectory of the waves generally follows that of the infinite-frequency ray path, although they are sensitive to perturbations off of this path. Finite-frequency sensitivity kernels are thus needed to give more accurate inversion results.
Ray tracing codes calculate travel time kernels for a ray. There are three main codes which calculate the group time as a function of distance, the ray paths as well as the phase and group times along the path, and the ray kernels for the sound speed squared.