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Radio Astronomy Image Reconstruction in the Big Data Era

Pratley, Luke; (2019) Radio Astronomy Image Reconstruction in the Big Data Era. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Next generation radio interferometric telescopes pave the way for the future of radio astronomy with extremely wide-fields of view and precision polarimetry not possible at other optical wavelengths, with the required cost of image reconstruction. These instruments will be used to map large scale Galactic and extra-galactic structures at higher resolution and fidelity than ever before. However, radio astronomy has entered the era of big data, limiting the expected sensitivity and fidelity of the instruments due to the large amounts of data. New image reconstruction methods are critical to meet the data requirements needed to obtain new scientific discoveries in radio astronomy. To meet this need, this work takes traditional radio astronomical imaging and introduces new of state-of-the-art image reconstruction frameworks of sparse image reconstruction algorithms. The software package PURIFY, developed in this work, uses convex optimization algorithms (i.e. alternating direction method of multipliers) to solve for the reconstructed image. We design, implement, and apply distributed radio interferometric image reconstruction methods for the message passing interface (MPI), showing that PURIFY scales to big data image reconstruction on computing clusters. We design a distributed wide-field imaging algorithm for non-coplanar arrays, while providing new theoretical insights for wide-field imaging. It is shown that PURIFY’s methods provide higher dynamic range than traditional image reconstruction methods, providing a more accurate and detailed sky model for real observations. This sets the stage for state-of-the-art image reconstruction methods to be distributed and applied to next generation interferometric telescopes, where they can be used to meet big data challenges and to make new scientific discoveries in radio astronomy and astrophysics.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Radio Astronomy Image Reconstruction in the Big Data Era
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10082449
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