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MeqSilhouette v2: spectrally resolved polarimetric synthetic data generation for the event horizon telescope

Natarajan, Iniyan and Deane, Roger and Martí-Vidal, Iván and Roelofs, Freek and Janssen, Michael and Wielgus, Maciek and Blackburn, Lindy and Blecher, Tariq and Perkins, Simon and Smirnov, Oleg and Davelaar, Jordy and Moscibrodzka, Monika and Chael, Andrew and Bouman, Katherine L. and Kim, Jae-Young and Bernardi, Gianni and van Bemmel, Ilse and Falcke, Heino and Özel, Feryal and Psaltis, Dimitrios (2022) MeqSilhouette v2: spectrally resolved polarimetric synthetic data generation for the event horizon telescope. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 512 (1). pp. 490-504. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stac531.

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We present MeqSilhouette v2.0 (MeqSv2), a fully polarimetric, time-and frequency-resolved synthetic data generation software for simulating millimetre (mm) wavelength very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations with heterogeneous arrays. Synthetic data are a critical component in understanding real observations, testing calibration and imaging algorithms, and predicting performance metrics of existing or proposed sites. MeqSv2 applies physics-based instrumental and atmospheric signal corruptions constrained by empirically derived site and station parameters to the data. The new version is capable of applying instrumental polarization effects and various other spectrally resolved effects using the Radio Interferometry Measurement Equation (RIME) formalism and produces synthetic data compatible with calibration pipelines designed to process real data. We demonstrate the various corruption capabilities of MeqSv2 using different arrays, with a focus on the effect of complex bandpass gains on closure quantities for the EHT at 230 GHz. We validate the frequency-dependent polarization leakage implementation by performing polarization self-calibration of synthetic EHT data using PolSolve. We also note the potential applications for cm-wavelength VLBI array analysis and design and future directions.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemMEQSV2 ItemDocumentation
Natarajan, Iniyan0000-0001-8242-4373
Deane, Roger0000-0003-1027-5043
Martí-Vidal, Iván0000-0003-3708-9611
Roelofs, Freek0000-0001-5461-3687
Wielgus, Maciek0000-0002-8635-4242
Blackburn, Lindy0000-0002-9030-642X
Blecher, Tariq0000-0001-8404-848X
Perkins, Simon0000-0002-3623-0938
Smirnov, Oleg0000-0003-1680-7936
Davelaar, Jordy0000-0002-2685-2434
Moscibrodzka, Monika0000-0002-4661-6332
Chael, Andrew0000-0003-2966-6220
Bouman, Katherine L.0000-0003-0077-4367
Bernardi, Gianni0000-0002-0916-7443
van Bemmel, Ilse0000-0001-5473-2950
Falcke, Heino0000-0002-2526-6724
Özel, Feryal0000-0003-4413-1523
Psaltis, Dimitrios0000-0003-1035-3240
Additional Information:© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2022 February 23. Received 2022 February 23; in original form 2021 November 25. Published: 26 February 2022. We thank Benna Hugo and André Offringa for discussions on WSCLEAN and Mareki Honma for his valuable comments. IN and RPD acknowledge support from the New Scientific Frontiers with Precision Radio Interferometry group grant awarded by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), which is a facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF), an agency of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). IN, RPD, and OS acknowledge funding by the South African Research Chairs Initiative of the DSI/NRF. IMV acknowledges support from Research Project PID2019-108995GB-C22 of Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Spain) and from the GenT Project CIDEGENT/2018/021 of Generalitat Valenciana (Spain). FR, MJ, JD, MM, and HF acknowledge support from the ERC Synergy Grant ‘BlackHoleCam: Imaging the Event Horizon of Black Holes’ (Grant 610058). FO and DP acknowledge support from the NSF PIRE grant OISE-1743747. MW and LB were supported by the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard University, which is funded by grants from the John Templeton Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to Harvard University. KLB acknowledges support from the MSIP2: NSF Award 2034306. GB acknowledges support from the Ministero degli Affari Esteri della Cooperazione Internazionale - Direzione Generale per la Promozione del Sistema Paese Progetto di Grande Rilevanza ZA18GR02 and the National Research Foundation of South Africa (Grant Number 113121) as part of the ISARP RADIOSKY2020 Joint Research Scheme. Data Availability: MEQSV2 is open source and publicly available on GitHub at Its documentation can be found at Bugs and other issues can be reported by creating an issue on the repository. The data underlying this article will be shared on reasonable request to the corresponding author.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)UNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCINN)PID2019-108995GB-C22
Generalitat ValencianaCIDEGENT/2018/021
European Research Council (ERC)610058
John Templeton FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Ministero degli affari esteri e della cooperazione internazionale (MAECI)ZA18GR02
National Research Foundation (South Africa)113121
Subject Keywords:techniques: high angular resolution –techniques: interferometric –software: simulations
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220427-875711300
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Iniyan Natarajan, Roger Deane, Iván Martí-Vidal, Freek Roelofs, Michael Janssen, Maciek Wielgus, Lindy Blackburn, Tariq Blecher, Simon Perkins, Oleg Smirnov, Jordy Davelaar, Monika Moscibrodzka, Andrew Chael, Katherine L Bouman, Jae-Young Kim, Gianni Bernardi, Ilse van Bemmel, Heino Falcke, Feryal Özel, Dimitrios Psaltis, MeqSilhouette v2: spectrally resolved polarimetric synthetic data generation for the event horizon telescope, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 512, Issue 1, May 2022, Pages 490–504,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114489
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Apr 2022 19:46
Last Modified:27 Apr 2022 19:46

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