Cygnus A jointly calibrated and imaged via non-convex optimization from VLA data

Arwa Dabbech, Audrey Repetti, Richard A. Perley, Oleg M. Smirnov, Yves Wiaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


Radio interferometric (RI) data are noisy under-sampled spatial Fourier components of the unknown radio sky affected by direction-dependent antenna gains. Failure to model these antenna gains accurately results in a radio sky estimate with limited fidelity and resolution. The RI inverse problem has been recently addressed via a joint calibration and imaging approach which consists in solving a non-convex minimisation task, involving suitable priors for the DDEs, namely temporal and spatial smoothness, and sparsity for the unknown radio map via an ℓ1-norm prior, in the context of realistic RI simulations. Building on these developments, we propose to promote sparsity of the radio map via a log-sum prior, enforcing sparsity more strongly than the ℓ1-norm. The resulting minimisation task is addressed via a sequence of non-convex minimisation tasks composed of re-weighted ℓ1 image priors, which are solved approximately. We demonstrate the efficiency of the approach on RI observations of the celebrated radio galaxy Cygnus A obtained with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array at X, C, and S bands. More precisely, we showcase that the approach enhances data fidelity significantly while achieving high resolution high dynamic range radio maps, confirming the suitability of the priors considered for the unknown DDEs and radio image. As a clear qualitative indication of the high fidelity achieved by the data and the proposed approach, we report the detection of three background sources in the vicinity of Cyg A, at S band.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4855–4876
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date5 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Techniques: Image processing
  • Techniques: Interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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