gencal(vis, caltable='', caltype='', infile='', spw='', antenna='', pol='', parameter='', uniform=True)[source]

Specify Calibration Values of Various Types

[Description] [Examples] [Development] [Details]

  • vis (path) - Name of input visibility file

  • caltable (string=’’) - Name of input calibration table

  • caltype (string=’’) - The calibration type: (amp, ph, sbd, mbd, antpos, antposvla, tsys, evlagain, opac, gc, gceff, eff, tecim)

    caltype = tecim
    • infile (string=’’) - Input ancilliary file

    caltype = gc
    • infile (string=’’) - Input ancilliary file

    caltype = gceff
    • infile (string=’’) - Input ancilliary file

    caltype = tsys
    • uniform (bool=True) - Assume uniform calibration values across the array

  • spw (string=’’) - Select spectral window/channels

  • antenna (string=’’) - Select data based on antenna/baseline

  • pol (string=’’) - Calibration polarizations(s) selection

  • parameter (doubleVec=’’) - The calibration values


The gencal task provides a means of specifying antenna-based calibration values manually. The values are put in designated tables and applied to the data using other tasks (applycal, gaincal, bandpass, etc.). Several specialized calibrations are also generated with gencal.

Calibration types: caltype

The gencal task supports many different calibration types via the caltype parameter. These are listed here in two groups. Many of these options are part of Preparing for Calibration and more information about how they work can be found in that section.

Manual caltype

The following enable directly specifying calibration factors for each specified pol, antenna, spw. Except where noted, each expects one real parameter value per specified pol, antenna, and spw.

  • ‘amp’= amplitude correction

  • ‘ph’ = phase correction

  • ‘sbd’= single-band delay (phase-frequency slope for each spw)

  • ‘mbd’= multi-band delay (phase-frequency slope over all spw)

  • ‘opac’ = Tropospheric opacity (1 real parameter [in nepers] per antenna, spw)

  • ‘antpos’ = ITRF antenna position corrections (3 real parameters [in m] for each antenna; see below)

  • ‘antposvla’ = VLA-centric antenna position corrections (3 real parameters [in m] for each antenna; see below)

Specialized caltype

The following caltype options automatically generate caltables from ancilliary information found in the MS or elsewhere. The pol, antenna, spw, and parameter options are ignored for these.

  • ‘tsys’ = Tsys from the MS.SYSCAL table (ALMA, VLBI)

  • ‘swpow’ = VLA switched-power gains from MS.SYSPOWER, CALDEVICE

  • ‘rq’ = VLA requantizer gains _only_

  • ‘swp/rq’ = VLA switched-power gains divided by requantizer gain

  • ‘gc’ = Gain curve (zenith-angle-dependent gain) (VLA, VLBI)

  • ‘eff’ = Antenna efficiency (sqrt(K/Jy)) (VLA only)

  • ‘gceff’ = Gain curve and efficiency (VLA only)

  • ‘tecim’ = Time-dependent TEC image specified in infile subparameter

  • ‘antpos’ = For VLA datasets, automatic lookup of antenna position corrections if antenna=’’

For the VLA, caltype=’gc’ will do auto-lookup the gain curve information. For VLBI, gain curve information will be taken from MS.GAIN_CURVE when present or from an external table specified by the infile subparameter.

Specifying calibration values: pol, antenna, spw, parameter

Generic calibration values for the “manual caltype s” listed above should be specified in the parameter argument as a list. The length of the list must correspond to the net length of the specific polarizations, antennas, and spws specified in the pol, antenna, and spw selection arguments. The values specified in parameter will be duplicated over all members of any selection axis that is not explicitly specified (pol =’’, spw =’’ and/or antenna =’’) E.g., if pol = antenna = spw =’’, it only makes sense to specify a single parameter value (or three, for antpos and antposvla), and this will be duplicated for all pols, antennas, and spws. If multiple parameter values are specified, at least one of pol, spw, or antenna must be non-trivial, and the number of values in parameter must be consistent with the range of specified pol, spw, and/or antenna. E.g., if only a non-trivial spw selection is specified, then the parameter value list should match the number of spws specified, and these values will be duplicated for all polarizations and antennas. If more than one of pol, spw, and antenna is non-trivially specified, the number of parameter * values specified should match the product of the number specified selection elements. The *parameter values should be sorted by pol (fastest), antenna, and spw (slowest). Un-specified elements on non-trivially specified axes will be filled with nominal values (i.e., it is not necessary to exhaustively specify all elements on any axis or use nominal parameter values explicitly). Please consult the examples for additional guidance. There is currently no support for time-dependent calibration specfication; in all cases, the specified parameter values will be assumed constant in time (though their impact on the data may be time-dependent, depending on the caltype).

The same caltable can be specified for multiple runs of gencal, in which case the specified parameter values will be incorporated cumulatively. E.g., amplitude-like values (caltype=’amp’) multiply and phase-like values (‘ph’, ‘sbd’,’mbd’,’antpos’) add. Also, ‘amp’ and ‘ph’ calibrations can be incorporated into the same caltable (in separate cumulative runs), but each of the other types require their own unique caltable. A mechanism for specifying manual corrections via a text file will be provided in the future.

The calibration tables generated by gencal can be applied to the data in all other tasks that accept specified calibration for (pre-)application, e.g., applycal. gaincal, bandpass, etc.

Consult the Examples for more information on the many caltype options in gencal.

Notes on specific caltype s

  • ‘antpos’ For antenna position corrections (caltype=’antpos’), the antenna position offsets are specified in the ITRF frame. For the Karl G. Jansky VLA, automated lookup of the antenna position corrections is enabled when antenna is unspecified (antenna=’’) for this caltype. Note that this requires internet connection to access the VLA antenna position correction site.

  • ‘antposvla’ For (old) pre-upgrade VLA position corrections, specify the values in the VLA-centric frame and gencal will rotate them to ITRF before storing them in the output caltable.

  • VLA switched power calibration is supported in three modes: ‘swpow’ (formerly ‘evlagain’, a syntax which has been deprecated) yields the formal VLA switched power calibration which describes voltage gain as sqrt(Pdif/Tcal) (used to correct the visibility data) and Tsys as Psum*Tcal/Pdif/2 (used to correct the weights). ‘swpow’ implicitly includes any requantizer gain scale and adjustments. ‘rq’ yields only the requantizer voltage gains (Tsys is set to 1.0 to avoid weight adjustments). ‘swp/rq’ yields the ordinary switched power voltage gains divided by the requantizer voltage gain (Tsys is calculated normally). The ‘rq’ and ‘swp/rq’ modes are are mainly intended for testing and evaluating the VLA switched power systems.

  • For caltype=’opac’, only constant (in time) opacities are supported via gencal.

  • For gaincurve and efficiency (caltype=’gc’, ‘gceff’, or ‘eff’), observatory-provided factors are determined per spw according to the observing frequencies. These caltypes are currently only supported for VLA (including pre-upgrade VLA) and VLBI processing. (Appropriate factors for ALMA are TBD.)


In the following example, antenna-based gain amplitude corrections for all spws, antennas, and polarizations will be multiplied by 3. When applied to visibility data, this correction will produce a corrected visibility that is (1/3*1/3) less than the uncorrected visibility.


In the following example, gain phase corrections for antennas ea03 and ea04 will be adjusted (additive) by 45 and 120 degrees (respectively), for all spws and polarizations. When these phases are applied to visibility data, the visibility phases will decrease or increase by the specified amount where the selected antennas occur first or second (respectively) in each baseline. E.g., the phase of baseline ea03&ea04 will change by (-45+120) = + 75 degrees. Baseline ea01&ea03’s phase will change by +45 degrees; baseline ea04&ea05’s phase will change by -120 degrees. The same phase sign convention is used for delay and antenna position corrections.

gencal(vis='',caltable='test.G',caltype='ph', spw='',antenna='ea03,ea04',pol='',

Gain phase corrections for antennas ea05 and ea06 will be adjusted (additive) by 63 and -34 degrees (respectively), in R only, for all spws


Gain phase corrections in all spws will be adjusted for antenna ea09 by 14 deg in R and -23 deg in L, and for antenna ea10 by -130 deg in R and 145 deg in L.


Gain phases corrections in both polarizations will be adjusted for antenna ea09 by 14 deg in spw 2 and -23 deg in spw 3, and for antenna ea10 by -130 deg in spw 2 and 145 deg in spw 3.


Delay corrections in both polarizations will be adjusted for antenna ea09 by 14 nsec in spw 2 and -23 nsec in spw 3, and for antenna ea10 by -130 nsec in spw 2 and 145 nsec in spw 3. See the above example for caltype=’ph’ for details of the sign convention adopted when applying delay corrections.


Currently Karl G. Jansky VLA observations only Antenna position corrections will be retrieved automatically over internet to generate the caltable with antenna=’’.


Antenna position corrections in meters (in ITRF) for antenna ea09 (dBx=0.01, dBy=0.02, dBz=0.03) and for antenna ea10 (dBx=-0.03, dBy=-0.01, dBz=-0.02). See the above example for caltype=’ph’ for details of the sign convention adopted when applying ‘antpos’ corrections.

       parameter=[0.01,0.02,0.03, -0.03,-0.01,-0.02])

Antenna position corrections (in the traditional VLA-centric frame) will be introduced in meters for antenna ea09 (dBx=0.01, dBy=0.02, dBz=0.03) and for antenna ea10 (dBx=-0.03, dBy=-0.01, dBz=-0.02). These offsets will be rotated to the ITRF frame before storing them in the caltable. See the above example for caltype=’ph’ for details of the sign convention adopted when applying antpos corrections.

       parameter=[0.01,0.02,0.03, -0.03,-0.01,-0.02])

No additional development details

Parameter Details

Detailed descriptions of each function parameter

vis (path) - Name of input visibility file
Default: none
Example: vis=’’
caltable (string='') - Name of input calibration table
Default: none
If a calibration table does not exist, it will be
created. Specifying an existing table will result
in the parameters being applied
cumulatively. Only a single time-stamp for all
calibrations are supported, currently. Do not
use a caltable created by gaincal, bandpass,
Example: caltable=’test.G’
caltype (string='') - The calibration parameter type being specified
Default: none
Options: ‘amp’, ‘ph’, ‘sbd’, ‘mbd’, ‘antpos’,
‘antposvla’, ‘tsys’, ‘evlagain’, ‘opac’, ‘gc’,
‘gceff’, ‘eff’, ‘tecim’
* ‘amp’ = gain (G) amplitude (1 real parameter
per pol, antenna, spw)
* ‘ph’ = gain (G) phase (deg) (1 real parameter
per pol, antenna, spw)
* ‘sbd’ = single-band delays (nsec) (1 real
parameter per pol, antenna, spw)
* ‘mbd’ = multi-band delay (nsec) (1 real
parameter per pol, antenna, spw)
* ‘antpos’ = antenna position corrections (m) (3
real ITRF offset parameters per antenna; spw,
pol selection will be ignored)
With antenna=’’, this triggers an automated
lookup of antenna positions for EVLA and ALMA.
* ‘antposvla’ = antenna position corrections (m)
specified in the old VLA-centric coordinate
* ‘tsys’ = Tsys from the SYSCAL table (ALMA)
* ‘evlagain’ = EVLA switched-power gains
* ‘opac’ = Tropospheric opacity (1 real parameter
per antenna, spw)
* ‘gc’ = Antenna zenith-angle dependent gain
curve (auto-lookup)
* ‘gceff’ = Gain curve and efficiency
* ‘eff’ = Antenna efficiency (auto-lookup)
Example: caltype=’ph’
infile (string='') - Input ancilliary file
Subparameter of caltype=’gc|gceff|tecim’
Default: none
spw (string='') - Select spectral window/channels
Default: ‘’ (all spectral windows and channels)

spw=’0~2,4’; spectral windows 0,1,2,4 (all channels)
spw=’<2’; spectral windows less than 2 (i.e. 0,1)
spw=’0:5~61’; spw 0, channels 5 to 61
spw=’0,10,3:3~45’; spw 0,10 all channels, spw
3 - chans 3 to 45.
spw=’0~2:2~6’; spw 0,1,2 with channels 2
through 6 in each.
spw = ‘*:3~64’ channels 3 through 64 for all sp id’s
spw = ‘ :3~64’ will NOT work.
antenna (string='') - Select data based on antenna/baseline
Subparameter of selectdata=True
Default: ‘’ (all)
If antenna string is a non-negative integer, it
is assumed an antenna index, otherwise, it is
assumed as an antenna name

antenna=’5&6’; baseline between antenna
index 5 and index 6.
antenna=’VA05&VA06’; baseline between VLA
antenna 5 and 6.
antenna=’5&6;7&8’; baselines with
indices 5-6 and 7-8
antenna=’5’; all baselines with antenna index
antenna=’05’; all baselines with antenna
number 05 (VLA old name)
antenna=’5,6,10’; all baselines with antennas
5,6,10 index numbers
pol (string='') - Polarization selection for specified parameters
Default: pol=’’ (specified parameters apply to
all polarizations)
Example: pol=’R’ (specified parameters to
apply to R only)
parameter (doubleVec='') - The calibration values
The calibration parameters, specified as a list,
to store in the caltable for the spw, antenna,
and pol selection. The required length of the
list is determined by the caltype and the spw,
antenna, pol selection. One “set” of parameters
(e.g., one value for ‘amp’, ‘ph’, etc., three
values for ‘antpos’) specified the same value for
all indicated spw, antenna, and pol.
When specifying a long list of calibration
parameter values, these should be ordered first
(fastest) by pol (if pol!=’’), then by antenna
(if antenna!=’’), and finally (sloweset) by spw
(if spw!=’’). Unspecified selection axes must
not be enumerated in the parameter list
uniform (bool=True) - Assume uniform calibration values across the array
Subparameter of caltype=’tsys’
Default: True
Options: True|False