Useful Scripts

Ronald J Maddalena
September 9, 2014

Below is a list of routines I have written that staff and observers might find useful.  Use the associated links for full details and instructions on each command.  Or, use the -help command-line argument with each.


Allows one to determine how various parameters influence the theoretical beam shapes, beam and aperture efficiencies, beam areas, … of telescopes.  Calculates the ratio of antenna temperatures to Tr for extended sources.


Generates high-frequency weather forecasts or postcasts and saves results to files within a time-stamped directory.

The script underlies the 'cleo forecasts' GUI as well as the Dynamical Scheduling System


Returns either Opacities, Tsys_atm, Tatm, or Rest for a list of frequencies and MJD's or a list of polynomial coefficients that can then be used to generate values. Uses polynomial fits which are archived once per hour by the CLEO     forecast utilities.  The results are generated much faster than when  using the full-blown cleo forecasts programs, though there is a small loss of accuracy over that provided by cleo forecasts. The archive goes back to 5 May 2004 and extends to up to 7 days into the future.

The script underlies the calibration for the GBT data pipeline


Calculates the time needed to map an area based on the integration time per beam area (e.g., the results from sensitivity calculations), and the area to be mapped.  Provides example ASTRID commands as well as other mapping parameters.  Supports the typical mapping commands for OTF rectangular maps, OTF Daisy maps, and point rectangular maps.  Does not include the observing time or overhead if you use the Astrid observing procedures of PointMapWithReference, RALongtMapWithReference, or DecLatMapWithReference.

The script also has a web interface, though with fewer options and tailored just for the GBT.


Calculates very rough RA, DEC, Az, El, Rise, Set, and Transit times (in UT) for the planets, the Sun and the Moon.


Calculates approximate rise, set, transit and total visibility times in either LST or UT for a specified equatorial or galactic position.  The default is to calculates LST ranges for an equatorial position


Returns the galactic background toward a given position at a given frequency using either the Fortran Tsky.f program that assumes a spectral index of -2.6 or an IdlUtils model which allows the S.I. to vary across the sky


A directory that contains a series of Fortran routines that I wrote 2 decades ago but that remain accurate. The programs that I think some might find useful are: