VLBI processing software PIMA


PIMA is a VLBI processing software package that performs calibration for sampler distortion, system temperature, antenna gain, phase calibration, complex bandpass calibration and evaluates group delays, phase delay rate, group delay rate, and phase of the coherently averaged visibility data. The output of the fringe search procedure is written either in 1) a plain ascii file, 2) or in binary database files in the GVF format that can be imported to VTD/post-Solve analysis software, 3) or in a set of FITS files that can be processed with DifMap or AIPS for making images.

PIMA is complimentary to Haystack HOPS software, NRAO AIPS and CASA software packages. PIMA is oriented on batch processing of VLBI experiments for absolute astronomy and geodesy applications. PIMA processes the data from any correlator that generates the output compliant with FITS-IDI specifications.


  1. Description of basic algorithms can be found in L. Petrov, Y. Y. Kovalev, E. B. Fomalont, D. Gordon, The VLBA Galactic Plane Survey — VGaPS, 2011, Astron. J., 142, 35.
  2. Introduction to PIMA

  3. Description of PIMA control file (also available in PDF format)

  4. PIMA user guide (also available in PDF format)

  5. PIMA wrapper scripts (also available in PDF format)

  6. On normalization of visibility amplitudes in VLBI processing (PDF)


License: GNU Public License.


The latest version of the source code is pima-20240512.tar.bz2.

Recent changes are outlined in the Changelog.

PIMA runs under Linux and MAC OS operating systems. Installation instruction can be found here.

An example of installation of PIMA and its dependencies is available.


  1. Library ncurses (development version)
  2. Library readline (development version)
  3. Library OpenBLAS   NB: custom build is required. See README for petools library
  4. Library cfitsio   NB: custom build is required. See README for VTD library
  5. Library FFTW
  6. Library petools
  7. Library ners
  8. Library spd_client
  9. Library VTD
  10. Library gvh
  11. Library fourpack

Mailing list

Mailing list is for announcements of important changes in PIMA and for user support. Only subscribers can post messages to the list. The messages posted to the list are available for viewing to all from the mail archive.

In order to subscribe or un-subscribe, please fill a registration form.

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This web page was prepared by Leonid Petrov ()
Last update: 2024.05.18_09:43:47