Primary beam effects of radio astronomy antennas - II. Modelling the MeerKAT L-band beam

15 Apr 2019  ·  Asad K. M. B., Girard J. N., de Villers M., Lehmensiek R., Ansah-Narh T., Iheanetu K., Smirnov O., Santos M. G., Jonas J., de Villiers D. I. L., Thorat K., Hugo B., Makhathini S., Camilo F., Jozsa G. I. G., Sirothia S. K. ·

After a decade of design and construction, South Africa's SKA-MID precursor MeerKAT has begun its science operations. To make full use of the widefield capability of the array, it is imperative that we have an accurate model of the primary beam of its antennas... We have used an available L-band full-polarization astro-holographic observation and electromagnetic simulation to create sparse representations of the beam using principal components and Zernike polynomials. The spectral behaviour of the spatial coefficients has been modelled using discrete cosine transform. We have provided the Zernike-based model over a diameter of 10 degrees in an associated software tool that can be useful for direction dependent calibration and imaging. The model is more accurate for the diagonal elements of the beam Jones matrix and at lower frequencies. As we get more accurate beam measurements and simulations in the future, especially for the cross-polarization patterns, our pipeline can be used to create more accurate sparse representations of MeerKAT beam. read more

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Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics