I mentioned in my recent post on astronomy and astrophysicists that I consider myself an astronomer because of the emphasis I place on observations and data in my studies.  While working on a large survey, it’s not surprising that data would have such a large focus for me.  It seems only fair to share the awesomeness and fun of working with all this data.  This post will be a general timeline for the data processing, and follow-up posts will go into more details for each step.

Day 0: The data is observed at Arecibo.

Day 1:  The data is transferred from Arecibo to Cornell.  The initial calibrations are done.

Day N ($1 < N < \infty$): The data is flagged to mark all the radio frequency interference (RFI).

Day X ($N < X < \infty$): The data is ‘gridded’ – three-dimensional cubes are produced and source extraction begins.

Day Y ($X < Y < \infty$):  Source extraction is complete for a strip of sky and the source catalog is officially published.