VLBI Baseline Sky Coverage Utility

Generates minimum elevations countours across the celestial sphere as seen at two antennas.
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Updated 16 Mar 2015

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The package visualizes the elevation of astronomical sources on the sky. It is intended to provide a quick overview of which patches of the sky are generally observable at two antennas simultaneously. Such antenna pairs (baselines) would typically be any two antennas in an antenna array, such as in, e.g., Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). The plotting function (vlbiSkyCoverage.m) generates a contour plot showing the lowest common elevations (degrees) across a celestial-equatorial coordinate (RA, Dec) grid. As a visual guide to which elevation contours a specific source intersects at which RA on a certain baseline, the declination track of a source is overlaid on the countours.
Antennas are specified by name. The names of some VLBI antennas and their coordinates (X,Y,Z in the ECEF coordinate frame) are included in the package (vlbi_stations_xyz.txt). Sources are specified by name. The source coordinates are looked-up from the NED Extragalactic Database.

A simple GUI is included that allows to select two antennas and specify the name of a source (vlbiSkyCoverageGUI.m).

Requires the Aerospace Toolbox (ecef2lla) and the Mapping Toolbox (geoshow, plotm, textm, axesm).

In the current version Earth precession and the time of observation are not accounted for. The contour plot is produced with Matlab's geoshow() and has limitations in labeling and overall tidyness.

Cite As

Jan Wagner (2024). VLBI Baseline Sky Coverage Utility (https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/50051-vlbi-baseline-sky-coverage-utility), MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2010a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux
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Version Published Release Notes
1.0.0.0