Scalable precision wide-field imaging in radio interferometry: I. uSARA validated on ASKAP data

Amanda Wilber, Arwa Dabbech, Adrian Jackson, Yves Wiaux

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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As Part I of a paper series showcasing a new imaging framework, we consider the recently proposed unconstrained Sparsity Averaging Reweighted Analysis (uSARA) optimization algorithm for wide-field, high-resolution, high-dynamic range, monochromatic intensity imaging. We reconstruct images from real radio-interferometric observations obtained with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and present these results in comparison to the widely used, state-of-the-art imager WSClean . Selected fields come from the ASKAP Early Science and Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU) Pilot surveys and contain several complex radio sources: the merging cluster system Abell 3391-95, the merging cluster SPT-CL 2023-5535, and many extended, or bent-tail, radio galaxies, including the X-shaped radio galaxy PKS 2014-558 and ‘the dancing ghosts’, known collectively as PKS 2130-538. The modern framework behind uSARA utilizes parallelization and automation to solve for the w -effect and efficiently compute the measurement operator, allowing for wide-field reconstruction over the full field-of-view of individual ASKAP beams (up to ∼3.3° each). The precision capability of uSARA produces images with both super-resolution and enhanced sensitivity to diffuse components, surpassing traditional CLEAN algorithms that typically require a compromise between such yields. Our resulting monochromatic uSARA-ASKAP images of the selected data highlight both extended, diffuse emission and compact, filamentary emission at very high resolution (up to 2.2 arcsec), revealing never-before-seen structure. Here we present a validation of our uSARA-ASKAP images by comparing the morphology of reconstructed sources, measurements of diffuse flux, and spectral index maps with those obtained from images made with WSClean .
Original languageEnglish
Article number]
Pages (from-to)5558-5575
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date4 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium
  • radio continuum: galaxies
  • techniques: image processing
  • techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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