TitleVLITE Surveys the Sky: A 340 MHz Companion to the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS)
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPeters, W, Clarke, T, Richards, E, Giacintucci, S, Kassim, N
Conference Name American Astronomical Society Meeting #231

The VLA Low Band Ionosphere and Transient Experiment (VLITE; ) is a commensal observing system on the Karl G. Janksy Very Large Array (VLA) which was developed by the Naval Research Laboratory and NRAO. A 64 MHz sub-band from the prime focus 240-470 MHz dipoles is correlated during nearly all regular VLA observations. VLITE uses dedicated samplers and fibers, as well as a custom designed, real-time DiFX software correlator, and requires no additional resources from the VLA system running the primary science program. The experiment has been operating since November 2014 with 10 antennas; a recent expansion in summer 2017 increased that number to 16 and more than doubled the number of baselines.The VLA Sky Survey (VLASS; ), is an ongoing survey of the entire sky visible to the VLA at a frequency of 2-4 GHz. The observations are made using an "on-the-fly" (OTF) continuous RA scanning technique which fills in the sky by observing along rows of constant declination. VLITE breaks the data into 2-second integrations and correlates these at a central position every 1.5 degrees. All data for each correlator position is imaged separately, corrected and weighted by an appropriately elongated primary beam model, and then combined in the image plane to create a mosaic of the sky. A catalog of the sources is extracted to provide a 340 MHz sky model.We present preliminary images and catalogs from the 2017 VLASS observations which began in early September, 2017, and continued on a nearly daily basis throughout the fall. In addition to providing a unique sky model at 340 MHz, these data complement VLASS by providing spectral indices for all cataloged sources.