SYMBA: An end-to-end VLBI synthetic data generation pipeline: Simulating Event Horizon Telescope observations of M 87
Journal article, 2020

© 2020 ESO. Context. Realistic synthetic observations of theoretical source models are essential for our understanding of real observational data. In using synthetic data, one can verify the extent to which source parameters can be recovered and evaluate how various data corruption effects can be calibrated. These studies are the most important when proposing observations of new sources, in the characterization of the capabilities of new or upgraded instruments, and when verifying model-based theoretical predictions in a direct comparison with observational data. Aims. We present the SYnthetic Measurement creator for long Baseline Arrays (SYMBA), a novel synthetic data generation pipeline for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations. SYMBA takes into account several realistic atmospheric, instrumental, and calibration effects. Methods. We used SYMBA to create synthetic observations for the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a millimetre VLBI array, which has recently captured the first image of a black hole shadow. After testing SYMBA with simple source and corruption models, we study the importance of including all corruption and calibration effects, compared to the addition of thermal noise only. Using synthetic data based on two example general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics (GRMHD) model images of M 87, we performed case studies to assess the image quality that can be obtained with the current and future EHT array for different weather conditions. Results. Our synthetic observations show that the effects of atmospheric and instrumental corruptions on the measured visibilities are significant. Despite these effects, we demonstrate how the overall structure of our GRMHD source models can be recovered robustly with the EHT2017 array after performing calibration steps, which include fringe fitting, a priori amplitude and network calibration, and self-calibration. With the planned addition of new stations to the EHT array in the coming years, images could be reconstructed with higher angular resolution and dynamic range. In our case study, these improvements allowed for a distinction between a thermal and a non-thermal GRMHD model based on salient features in reconstructed images.

Techniques: interferometric

Telescopes

Black hole physics

Galaxies: nuclei

Techniques: high angular resolution

Atmospheric effects

Author

F. Roelofs

Radboud University

Michael Janssen

Radboud University

Iniyan Natarajan

Rhodes University

R. P. Deane

Rhodes University

Jordy Davelaar

Radboud University

Héctor Olivares

Radboud University

Oliver Porth

Goethe University Frankfurt

S.N. Paine

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

K. L. Bouman

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

R. P. J. Tilanus

Radboud University

I. van Bemmel

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

H.D. Falcke

Radboud University

Kazunori Akiyama

Harvard University

Antxon Alberdi

CSIC - Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA)

Walter Alef

Max Planck Society

K. Asada

Academia Sinica

R. Azulay

Max Planck Society

A. K. Baczko

Max Planck Society

David Ball

University of Arizona

Mislav Baloković

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

John Barrett

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Dan Bintley

East Asian Observatory

Lindy Blackburn

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

W. Boland

Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Astronomie (NOVA)

G. C. Bower

Academia Sinica

M. Bremer

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

C. D. Brinkerink

Radboud University

Roger Brissenden

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Silke Britzen

Max Planck Society

Avery E. Broderick

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

D. Broguière

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Thomas Bronzwaer

Radboud University

Do Young Byun

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

J. E. Carlstrom

University of Chicago

A. Chael

Princeton University

Chi Kwan Chan

University of Arizona

S. Chatterjee

Cornell University

Koushik Chatterjee

University of Amsterdam

Ming Tang Chen

Academia Sinica

Yongjun Chen

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

I. Cho

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Pierre Christian

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

John Conway

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory

James M. Cordes

Cornell University

G. Crew

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Yuzhu Cui

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Mariafelicia De Laurentis

Goethe University Frankfurt

Jessica Dempsey

East Asian Observatory

Gregory Desvignes

Max Planck Society

Jason Dexter

Harvard University

S. Doeleman

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Ralph P. Eatough

Max Planck Society

V. Fish

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

E. Fomalont

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

R. Fraga-Encinas

Radboud University

P. Friberg

East Asian Observatory

Christian M. Fromm

Goethe University Frankfurt

J. L. Gomez

CSIC - Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA)

Peter Galison

Harvard University

Charles F. Gammie

University of Illinois

Roberto Garcia

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Olivier Gentaz

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Boris Georgiev

University of Waterloo

C. Goddi

Radboud University

R. Gold

Goethe University Frankfurt

Minfeng Gu

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

M. Gurwell

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

K. Hada

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Michael H. Hecht

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

R. Hesper

University of Groningen

Luis C. Ho

Beijing University of Technology

P. Ho

Academia Sinica

M. Honma

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

C.L. Huang

Academia Sinica

Lei Huang

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

D. Hughes

National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics

S. Ikeda

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Makoto Inoue

Academia Sinica

S. Issaoun

Radboud University

David J. James

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Buell T. Jannuzi

University of Arizona

Britton Jeter

University of Waterloo

Wu Jiang

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

Michael D. Johnson

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

S.G. Jorstad

Boston University

Taehyun Jung

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Mansour Karami

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

R. Karuppusamy

Max Planck Society

Tomohisa Kawashima

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

G. Keating

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

M. M. Kettenis

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Junhan Kim

Max Planck Society

Jongsoo Kim

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Jae-Young Kim

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

M. Kino

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Jun Yi Koay

Academia Sinica

Patrick M. Koch

Academia Sinica

Shoko Koyama

Academia Sinica

M. Kramer

Max Planck Society

C. Kramer

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

T.P. Krichbaum

Max Planck Society

Cheng Yu Kuo

National Sun Yat-Sen University Taiwan

Tod R. Lauer

National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Sang Sung Lee

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Yan Rong Li

Institute of High Energy Physics Chinese Academy of Science

Zhiyuan Li

Nanjing University

Michael Lindqvist

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory, Onsala Space Observatory, Observation Support

R. Lico

Max Planck Society

Kuo Liu

Max Planck Society

Elisabetta Liuzzo

Istituto di Radioastronomia

Wen-Ping Lo

Academia Sinica

A. P. Lobanov

Max Planck Society

L. Loinard

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Colin Lonsdale

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

R.S. Lu

Max Planck Society

N. R. Macdonald

Max Planck Society

Jirong Mao

Chinese Academy of Sciences

S. Markoff

University of Amsterdam

D. P. Marrone

University of Arizona

A. Marscher

Boston University

Ivan Marti-Vidal

Universitat de Valencia

S. Matsushita

Academia Sinica

L.D. Matthews

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Lia Medeiros

University of Arizona

K. Menten

Max Planck Society

Yosuke Mizuno

Goethe University Frankfurt

Izumi Mizuno

East Asian Observatory

James M. Moran

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Kotaro Moriyama

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

M. Mościbrodzka

Radboud University

C. Müller

Radboud University

H. Nagai

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

N. M. Nagar

University of Concepcion

Masanori Nakamura

Academia Sinica

Ramesh Narayan

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Gopal Narayanan

University of Massachusetts

R. Neri

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Chunchong Ni

University of Waterloo

A. Noutsos

Max Planck Society

Hiroki Okino

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Héctor Olivares

Goethe University Frankfurt

G.N. Ortiz-León

Max Planck Society

Tomoaki Oyama

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Feryal Özel

University of Arizona

Daniel C.M. Palumbo

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

N. Patel

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

U. L. Pen

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Dominic W. Pesce

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Vincent Piétu

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Richard L. Plambeck

University of California

Aleksandar PopStefanija

University of Massachusetts

Ben Prather

University of Illinois

Jorge A. Preciado-López

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

D. Psaltis

University of Arizona

Hung-Yi Pu

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Venkatessh Ramakrishnan

University of Concepcion

R. Rao

Academia Sinica

M.G. Rawlings

East Asian Observatory

Alexander W. Raymond

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Luciano Rezzolla

Goethe University Frankfurt

Bart Ripperda

Princeton University

A. Rogers

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Eduardo Ros

Max Planck Society

Mel Rose

University of Arizona

Arash Roshanineshat

University of Arizona

H. Rottmann

Max Planck Society

A. Roy

Max Planck Society

C. Ruszczyk

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Benjamin R. Ryan

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Kazi L.J. Rygl

Istituto di Radioastronomia

S. Sanchez

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

David Sánchez-Arguelles

The Institute of Statistical Mathematics

Mahito Sasada

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

T. Savolainen

Max Planck Society

F. P. Schloerb

University of Massachusetts

K. Schuster

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Lijing Shao

Max Planck Society

Zhi Qiang Shen

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

Des Small

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

B. Won Sohn

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

J. SooHoo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Fumie Tazaki

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Paul Tiede

University of Waterloo

M. Titus

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Kenji Toma

Tohoku University

Pablo Torne

Max Planck Society

E. Traianou

Max Planck Society

Tyler Trent

University of Arizona

S. Trippe

Seoul National University

Shuichiro Tsuda

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

H. J. van Langevelde

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Daniel R. van Rossum

Radboud University

Jan Wagner

Max Planck Society

John Wardle

Brandeis University

J. Weintroub

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Norbert Wex

Max Planck Society

Robert Wharton

Max Planck Society

M. Wielgus

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

George N. Wong

University of Illinois

Qingwen Wu

Huazhong University of Science and Technology

André Young

Radboud University

K. Young

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Ziri Younsi

Goethe University Frankfurt

Feng Yuan

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

Ye-Fei Yuan

University of Science and Technology of China

A.J. Zensus

Max Planck Society

G. Y. Zhao

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Shan-Shan Zhao

Radboud University

Ziyan Zhu

Harvard University

Astronomy and Astrophysics

0004-6361 (ISSN) 1432-0746 (eISSN)

Vol. 636 A5

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Geophysics

Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)

DOI

10.1051/0004-6361/201936622

More information

Latest update

6/18/2020