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BLOBCAT is a source extraction software that utilizes the flood fill algorithm to detect and catalog blobs, or islands of pixels representing sources, in 2D astronomical images. The software is designed to process radio-wavelength images of both Stokes I intensity and linear polarization, the latter formed through the quadrature sum of Stokes Q and U intensities or as a by-product of rotation measure synthesis. BLOBCAT corrects for two systematic biases to enable the flood fill algorithm to accurately measure flux densities for Gaussian sources. BLOBCAT exhibits accurate measurement performance in total intensity and, in particular, linear polarization, and is particularly suited to the analysis of large survey data.
Aegean, written in python, finds compact sources within radio images by seeking out islands of pixels above a given threshold and then using the curvature of the image to determine how many Gaussian components should be used to describe the island. The Gaussian fitting is initiated with parameters determined from the curvature and intensity maps, and makes use of mpfit to perform a constrained fit. Aegean has been optimized for compact radio sources in images that have no diffuse background emission, but by pre-processing the images with a spatial filter, or by convolving an optical image with an appropriately small PSF, Aegean is able to produce excellent results in a range of applications.
WSClean (w-stacking clean) is a fast generic widefield imager. It uses the w-stacking algorithm and can make use of the w-snapshot algorithm. It supports full-sky imaging and proper beam correction for homogeneous dipole arrays such as the MWA. WSClean allows Hogbom and Cotton-Schwab cleaning, and can clean polarizations joinedly. All operations are performed on the CPU; it is not specialized for GPUs.