Radio Interferometric Calibration Using The SAGE Algorithm
Radio Interferometry is an essential method for astronomical observations. Self-calibration techniques have increased the quality of the radio astronomical observations (and hence the science) by orders of magnitude. Recently, there is a drive towards sensor arrays built using inexpensive hardware and distributed over a wide area acting as radio interferometers. Calibration of such arrays poses new problems in terms of computational cost as well as in performance of existing calibration algorithms. We consider the application of the Space Alternating Generalized Expectation Maximization (SAGE) \citeFess94 algorithm for calibration of radio interferometric arrays. Application to real data shows that this is an improvement over existing calibration algorithms that are based on direct, deterministic non linear optimization. As presented in this paper, we can improve the computational cost as well as the quality of the calibration using this algorithm.