Revisiting the spread spectrum effect in radio interferometric imaging: A sparse variant of the w-projection algorithm

L. Wolz*, Jason D McEwen, F. B. Abdalla, Rafael E Carrillo, Yves Wiaux

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Next-generation radio interferometric telescopes will exhibit non-coplanar baseline configurations and wide field of views, inducing a w-modulation of the sky image, which induces the spread spectrum effect. We revisit the impact of this effect on the imaging quality and study a new algorithmic strategy to deal with the associated operator. In previous studies, it has been shown that image recovery in the framework of compressed sensing is improved due to this effect, where the w-modulation can increase the incoherence between measurement and sparsifying signal representations. For the purpose of computational efficiency, idealized experiments with a constant baseline component w were performed.We extend this analysis to themore realistic setting where the w-component varies for each visibility measurement. First, incorporating varying w-components into imaging algorithms is a computational demanding task. We propose a variant of the w-projection algorithm, which is based on an adaptive sparsification procedure, and incorporate it in compressed sensing imaging methods. Secondly, we show that for varying w-components, the reconstruction quality is significantly improved compared to no w-modulation, reaching levels comparable to a constant, maximal w-component. This finding confirms that one may seek to optimize future telescope configurations to promote large w-components, thus enhancing the fidelity of image reconstruction. © 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1993-2003
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • Image processing-techniques
  • Interferometric
  • Methods
  • Numerical-techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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