Software Development

IDIA Pipelines project for MeerKAT Imaging data

Collaboration among 5 MeerKAT LSPs to jointly develop pipeline processing of MeerKAT data

The IDIA Pipelines Project aims to provide the radio astronomy user community with a framework to successfully calibrate and image raw MeerKAT data, producing high-quality, dynamic-range limited images. The IDIA Pipelines Team focuses on the data processing needs of MeerKAT data for the large survey projects. We have developed a high-performance pipeline and have played a major role in testing and designing the IDIA computing and storage infrastructure.

The team has recently released the pipeline to researchers for testing and general-purpose use. The pipeline deploys a calibration and imaging workflow on IDIA’s research cloud. The pipeline has been used to successfully calibrate many MeerKAT observations. In particular, the pipeline was used for the initial calibration of the early science data for the MIGHTEE project.


Development of visualisation and visual analytics for big image data sets.

The Cube Analysis and Rendering Tool for Astronomy (CARTA) is a new visualisation and analysis tool designed for the ALMA, the VLA, and the SKA pathfinder telescopes. The mission of CARTA is to provide usability and scalability for the future by utilising modern web technologies and computing parallelisation. It is designed to be used as a remote web tool for browsing very large images that are impractical to view on a desktop computer. The CARTA project is a collaborative effort between IDIA, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in the United States and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) in Taiwan, China.

Version 1.0 of the desktop distribution of CARTA was released in December 2018 after a large redesign, spearheaded by IDIA, in early 2018. The desktop version was well received by the CASA community as they look for tools to replace the existing CASA viewer. While limited in feature set, Version 1.0 provided significantly improved performance over CASA viewer through an efficient rendering system. Version 1.1 was released early 2019.

A server version is now available, focusing on high performance when accessing remote data through the IDIA cloud. This is the recommended version for all current and prospective CARTA users. For more information, visit the CARTA website: