Bayesian Inference for Radio Observations - Going beyond deconvolution

Lochner, Michelle ; Bassett, Bruce ; Kunz, Martin ; Natarajan, Iniyan ; Oozeer, Nadeem ; Smirnov, Oleg ; Zwart, Jonathan

In: Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 2014, vol. 10, no. S306, p. 185-188

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    Radio interferometers suffer from the problem of missing information in their data, due to the gaps between the antennae. This results in artifacts, such as bright rings around sources, in the images obtained. Multiple deconvolution algorithms have been proposed to solve this problem and produce cleaner radio images. However, these algorithms are unable to correctly estimate uncertainties in derived scientific parameters or to always include the effects of instrumental errors. We propose an alternative technique called Bayesian Inference for Radio Observations (BIRO) which uses a Bayesian statistical framework to determine the scientific parameters and instrumental errors simultaneously directly from the raw data, without making an image. We use a simple simulation of Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope data including pointing errors and beam parameters as instrumental effects, to demonstrate the use of BIRO