Tricolour: an optimized parallel sumthreshold flagger for MeerKAT

We present Tricolour, a package for Radio Frequency Interference excision of wideband finely channelized MeerKAT correlation data. The MeerKAT passband is heavily affected by interference from satellite, mobile, aircraft and terrestrial transponders. Coupled with typical data rates in excess of 100 GiB/hr at 208kHz channelization resolution, excision poses a significant processing challenge. Our flagger is highly configurable, parallel and optimized, employing Dask and Numba technologies to implement the widely used SumThreshold and MAD interference detection algorithms. We find that typical 208kHz channelized datasets can be processed at a rates in excess of 400 GiB/hr for a typical L-band excision strategy on modern dual-socket Intel Xeon servers.

Theme – Open Source Software and Community Development in Astronomy