Abstract: Apercal is a dedicated, automated data reduction and analysis pipeline written for the Apertif (APERture Tile In Focus) upgrade to the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. This upgrade dramatically increases the field of view and survey speed of the telescope and is being used for survey observations that can produce 5 terabytes of data for each observation. Apercal uses existing and new tools and parallelization to provide the performance needed for the large volume of data produced Apertif surveys. The software is written entirely in Python and uses third–party astronomical software, such as AOFlagger (ascl:1010.017), CASA (ascl:1107.013), and Miriad (ascl:1106.007), for certain tasks. Apercal is modular, making it possible to run specific modules manually instead of the full pipeline, and information can be exchanged between modules because status parameters are written and read from a python pickled dictionary file. The pipeline can also run fully automatically.
Credit: Schulz, Robert; Dijkema, Tammo Jan; Molenaar, Gijs