ATOA Users Guide
Welcome to the ATOA Users Guide. This guide is intended for astronomers who wish to obtain data taken with the Australia Telescope National Facility, or generate a summary report to see what has been observed. This guide was last updated in April 2011.
The ATOA provides access to:
- 'Raw' radio astronomy data obtained with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (from 1990), the Mopra radio telescope (MOPS data, from 1998) and the Parkes radio telescope(spectral line and continuum from 1991).
- Parkes pulsar data files, for some Parkes projects, provided through a CSIRO Data Access Portal
Recent Changes to the ATOA
Version 4 of the ATOA was released on 13 April 2011. This version includes:
- A new ATOA Home Page that has a similar look and feel to OPAL;
- An improved summary search tool. The summary search has unrestricted access (no password needed), to allow for connections between the ATOA and external facilities such as the Astrophysical Data Services and NED;
- Additional search fields for more precise searches. The search forms now allow for searches to be filtered using fields for array configurations, bandwidths, number of channels and frequency ranges;
- Improved searching for multiple sources. The ATOA can now read in a list of source positions from an OPAL Source Table or an OPAL Observations Table;
- Improved reports. ATOA reports now include the on-source observing time;
- Improved searching and reporting for regions observed using a mosaic observing technique.
- Links to a CSIRO Data Access Portal. This provides access to Parkes pulsar data for some projects.
In addition we expect to release a new search interface that gives access to data cubes obtained for the Mopra Millimetre Astronomy Legacy 90 GHz Survey (MALT90) by early May.
ATOA ToolsThe ATOA Home Page provides a set of tools which can be seen as a set of links on the left-hand side of the Home Page. These are intended to be be largely self explanatory. Here are some brief notes to help you get started.
Login or reset password
The ATOA shares a user registration system with OPAL, the ATNF proposal application system. To obtain an OPAL user account, or to reset a password, clikc on the 'Login or reset password' link and follow instructions from there.
This tool uses a search form to generate a report for observations from the Australia Telescope Compact Array, Mopra (MOPS data) or and Parkes radio telescope (other than pulsar observations).
Note that information entered in ATOA search fields uses AND logic. The search results will include files or other information that match ALL of the selected criteria.
The search interface can be used in various ways. For example:
- To search for a particular project enter the project code.
- To search for all observations for a single source enter the source position and a search window.
- To restrict a search of Compact Array data to one or more array configurations, select one or more of the options in the Array field near the bottom of the form.
To search the archive for multiple sources, it is recommended that you first use OPAL to create an OPAL Observations Table or an OPAL Source Table. Note that an ATOA search will only use the positions given in the OPAL file. Other OPAL information, needed for telescope applications, is not used by the ATOA.
Two types of report are available:
- Scans Summary
This generates a summary report. The search output is shown as an html table that can be sorted by date or source name. In this table the scan time corresponds to the total time on source during a 24-hour period, from 00:00:00 to 23:59:59 UT.
- Matching Files
An OPAL user account and login is required to use this tool. If you have not already logged in to the ATOA then a pop-up box will ask you to enter your login username and password before the search is carried out.
This report provides a list of all the data files that match the search criteria. The output report gives a list of data filenames together with some summary information. To see more detailed information on the contents of a file, click on the small triangle next to the filename.
Unrestricted files can be selected for downloading by ticking the small boxes to the left of the filenames. Files are downloaded using either tar or zip.
In most cases, data are made openly available 18 months after the date of observation. The ATOA also provides unrestricted access for observers to their 'own data' taken within the last 18 months. The 'ownership' of data is determined from the author lists included on telescope proposals.
For further information on data access policies please see the ATNF Data Access Policy webpage.
Parkes Pulsar Data
The Parkes Pulsar Data Archive was released in March 2011. This archive has been developed through the ANDS-ATNF Data Management Project by a CSIRO team with funding provided by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS).
The Parkes Pulsar Data Archive provides access to the observations obtained with the Parkes radio telescope, for some projects. The archive will be extended during 2011 to include data from additional projects. For further information, including a list of the projects in the archive and to download pulsar data, see the links on the page.
Please use this link for any enquiries, or to report any problems with using the ATOA. We will respond promptly.
This provide a link to the ATNF Online Proposal Applications and Links (OPAL). The tools provided in OPAL are used to generate applications for observing time on ATNF facilities.
The recommended browser for the ATOA and OPAL is Firefox. Internet Explorer is also supported. The ATOA may work well in other browsers but this cannot be guaranteed.
Using tar files
We recommend that you do not try to extract files from a tar archive using WinZip as this can corrupt the extracted data files. This may become apparent when you try to load the files into Miriad or AIPS.To avoid this problem there are several options:
- Use a unix tar tool to extract the files; or
- Download multiple files using the zip option; or
- Use the freely available Windows program 7Zip instead of WinZip; or
- When using WinZip to extract tar archives disable the "TAR smart CR/LF conversion" option. The extracted files should then be OK.