Hands on tools

Tools, instructions and links to softwares and datasets used during the school.
This page will be updated as need be.

We are providing a fully functional Virtual Machine that can run under "Virtual Box". The machine is pre-installed with all necessary software and data for the Hands-On sessions of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (afternoons).

You may install Virtual Box on your laptop from :


Then download the IYAS Virtual Machine at :

Virtual Machine (link available 30 days)

Another link to the same file :

Virtual Machine

login : anonymous, password : "Whatever you wish"

The file is 6 Gbytes. When deployed, the machine occupies 10 Gbytes, and can extend up to 30 Gb if needed (when files are created on it). If the links are dead, please contact us to get the original file.

Instructions for the deployment are given in the following document.

SKA / LOFAR Hands On sessions of Thursday & Friday

There are 2 time blocks of 2 hours each afternon, with 4 groups in parallel.

Proposed Distribution in Hands on groups SKA-LOFAR

The doodle is now obsolete. If you did not register or change your mind, use the bottom table in the attached "Proposed Distribution ..." document to identify which Hands on session takes where at each time block, and simply join the sessions of your choice THAT ARE NOT ALREADY OVER-POPULATED (we want to stay below 18 people per session per block).

The 6 proposed sessions are :
1) Basics of interferometric imaging with Python & CASA (coordinator C. Tasse) : HO1
2) Aperture Synthesis Simulator (coordinator I. Marti-Vidal) : HO2
3) LOFAR calibration and imaging with the LOFAR cookbook (coordinator J. Girard) : HO3
4) Analysis of a LOFAR beamformed observation of a pulsar (coordinator M. Serylak) : HO4
5) Embrace (SKA demonstrator in Nançay) (coordinator B. Censier) : HO5
6) LOFAR proposal preparation with the Northstar tool (coordinator P. Zarka) : HO6

1) and 2) will give you a detailed understanding of the basics of Radio Interferometry, applying to LOFAR, SKA, ALMA, etc. Select at least one of those if you are beginner. Both are very complementary, thus don’t hesitate to select both.
3) and 4) are the basic analyses of LOFAR data in its main two operating modes : Imaging and Beamformed observations. Select 3) if you intend to analyse to put your hands in interferometric imaging. Select 4) if you intend to analyse intensity versus time-frequency data.
5) is a more "technical" exploration of the testing of a SKA pathfinder : the Embrace demonstrator that you will have seen in Nançay on Wednesday. Select it if you want to see basic tests close to the hardware.
6) is a realistic simulation of How to build a LOFAR proposal, on an imposed scientific topic : the search for radio emissions from exoplanets (also applicable to stellar radio emissions). Select it if you intend to propose observations as a scientific user.

If you plan to use the softwares on a regular basis, you may want to install them directly. You will find below some links to various files and informations. This page will be upgraded regularly before the school.

NOEMA software and documentation

You should install Gildas version oct15b :


and Gildas precompiled documentation, as the various pdfs can be opened from the Help button in Gildas programs :


The installation procedure (binaries and documentation) is described here :


In case of major difficulties you may contact :

16 November 2015 : OT_demo_SE_WorkSheet.
NOEMA dataset

The data we will use for the NOEMA part of the imaging tutorials is accesssible from :
(It’s a single 4.1M tar file with 3 directories inside)


ALMA software and documentation

The total space needed for processing is about 10 G ; you can make do with 5 G by e.g. moving data no longer needed to a
storage disk.

1 CASA :
For direct installation see :


for details of installation and testing, or direclty on :


In case of major installation problems, you may contact :

Hands on are described at :


2 Observing Tool :


ALMA dataset

wget -c http://almanas.jb.man.ac.uk/amsr/IYAS/sis14_twhya_calibrated_flagged.ms.tar

Calibrated data, for comparison sake, are available at :

wget -c http://almanas.jb.man.ac.uk/amsr/IYAS/twhya_calibrated_flagged.ms.tar

wget -c http://almanas.jb.man.ac.uk/amsr/IYAS/twhya_cont_clean_ap1.image.tar

wget -c http://almanas.jb.man.ac.uk/amsr/IYAS/twhya_n2hp.image.tar

This is a mirror from the original site :


* mm wave hands-on are described in the following document

Documents attachés :



ALMA OT demo

VM installation


HO-LF final




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