UV-plane Continuum Subtraction using mstransform

mstransform has gotten support to subtract the continuum in the UV-plane using a polynomial fit along the spectral channels. This transformation can be stacked with the rest of the transformations supported by mstransform. To activate continum subtraction the option douvcontsub must be set:

douvcontsub = True # Enable continuum subtraction as in task uvcontsub

The most relevant parameter to fit the continuum is fitspw, which allows to select which channels are supposedly free of lines and therefore represent with better fidelity the continuum. The syntax of this parameter is similar to the usual syntax for the selection of spw's. For instance


will use channels 5 to 5 and 100 to 220 when computing the continuum of spw 19. For spw 20 it will use channels 1 to 100.

There is currently no support to fit the continuum over several spw's at the same time. You can use uvcontsub3 task if you need that functionality.

The output MS will contain the continuum subtracted signal. If one, on the other hand, is interested in the fitted continuum itself, then the parameter want_cont should be set to True. Note that in this case, if there are other transformations enabled in mstransform, the subsequent transformations will work on the fitted continuum data.

The algorithm implemented by mstransform allows to reject some outliers in the fit by doing an iterative fit. After the first fit has been obtained, the absolute residuals of each point with respect to the fit are computed and are used as weights for the next iteration. In this way outliers are usually given less and less weight in each iteration. To enable this feature, set the parameter niter to a value larger than 1.

  niter = 1 # Number of iterations for re-weighted linear fit

Additionally one can control the order of the polynomial fit using parameter fitorder

fitorder = 0 # Polynomial order for the fits

In the long term, it is foreseen that the current uvcontusb and uvcontsub3 tasks are deprecated and are substituted by a new uvcontusb task that uses mstransform under the hood.