Man pages sections > man1 > cassbeam

cassbeam - Cassbeam is a Cassegrain antenna ray tracer

CASSBEAM(1) User Commands CASSBEAM(1)


cassbeam - Cassbeam is a Cassegrain antenna ray tracer


cassbeam input_file [key=value ...]


cassbeam is a program for Cassegrain antenna modelling. It computes several properties of the antenna including gain, zenith system temperature, and the beam, in full polarization. All calculations are done in the transmit sense and use reciprocity to relate to the equivalent receiving system.
Cassbeam is a non-interactive command line program that takes all of its input from the command line. Note that this does not preclude someone at a later date from making a graphical or web front end. There is one required argument when running cassbeam - the input filename. Additional arguments can supplement the parameters of the input file. These arguments are passed in the same key=value as required in the input file except whitespace is not allowed around the equal sign. If a parameter appears both in the input file and the command line, then the value on the command line supercedes the value on the input file.


The main input file consists of a series of lines of the form key=value. Only one such entry is allowed per line. The equal sign is optional. The input files allow comments to be placed within the file. All comments begin with %. This character and any that follow it on a given line are ignored by cassbeam. Depending on key, the value may be one of five types: string, integer, double, vector, none. A string is a sequence of non-whitespace characters not surrounded by quotes of any kind. A double value is a number that can have a fractional part. A vector is a comma-separated list of doubles. The `none' type expects no value. Below is a list of the allowed keys and the type of value expected. If the range of legal values is restricted, the legal range will be contained within brackets. Note that legal values do not imply a physical system that will generate meaningful results! For the vector type, if a certain number of values are needed, they will be indicated in parentheses. A required parameter will be indicated with a `*'. It is important to realize that the secondary optical surface (i.e., the subreflector) is defined based on the input geometry. Thus changing the feed placement will change the geometry of the subreflector! To change parameters of the telescope without affecting the shape of the subreflector, set the pathology parameters. Note that the order of the parameters does not matter.

Antenna geometry parameters

The x value of the phase center of the feed. If no value is provided, 0 is assumed. [double]
The y value of the phase center of the feed. If no value is provided, 0 is assumed. [double]
The z value of the phase center of the feed. If no value is provided, 0 is assumed. [double]
This string points to a disk file containing the primary optical surface geometry. This file is a three column ascii text file, each containing space separated values for r, z, and dz/dr for the antenna. There is no limit (other than your computer's memory) to the number of lines in this file. It is assumed (but not checked!) that the values of r start at 0 and are equally spaced. The radius, R, of the primary is given by the value of r in the last row. Columns 1 and 2 are in meters, and column 3 is dimensionless. [string]
The radius (in meters) of an unpanelled area at the center of the primary. If omitted, no hole will be made. [double, > 0]
The z value where the legs (struts) intersect each other. Note that the legs might terminate before reaching this point. The default value is 1.2* sub_h. [double, > 0]
The r value where the legs (struts) intersect the primary surface. The default value is half the antenna radius. [double, > 0]
The effective width of the legs, used to compute blockage. Note that currently a positive value indicates four equally spaced legs with one leg along the x axis. If the value is negative, its absolute value is used in the blockage calculations, but the legs are rotated 45°. If this parameter is not set, or if it is set to 0, then no legs will be generated. [double]
An optional name given to the antenna. If the name is ``VLBA'', then the true strut geometry for the VLBA antennas is used rather than equispaced struts. [string]
The RSS surface roughness in meters. This number represents the combined surface error for the primary and secondary. If no roughness is provided, the default value of 0 is used. [double, >= 0]
This value is the z value of the intersection of the subreflector with the z axis. [double, > 0]

Feed pattern parameters

Note that either both feedtaper and feedangle or feedpattern must be provided.
Sets the reference angle for the feed taper. [double, > 0]
The name of the file containing the pattern of the feed. This file contains two space-separated columns of numbers: the angle in degrees and the taper in dB. The first angle must equal 0, and the angles must be uniformly spaced. [string]
The factor by which to scale the pattern defined in feedpattern. [double, > 0]
This parameter sets the taper (in dB) of the feed at an angle feedangle from the feed axis to 10^- feedtaper/10. [double, > 0]

Pathology parameters

None of the following operations change the shape of the subreflector - its geometry is calculated before their application. Note that displacements of either the feed or the subreflector result in a rotation of the feed that corrects for the mispointing caused by the translations. Rotations of the feed act in addition to this correction. Composited rotations (i.e., setting rsub_x and rsub_y are both provided), the operations on the object being rotated proceed in reverse alphabetical order (z rotation before y rotation; y rotation before x rotation) regardless of the order that the parameters are received.
Displacement of the feed along the x axis. [double]
Displacement of the feed along the y axis. [double]
Displacement of the feed along the z axis. [double]
Displacement of the subreflector along the x axis. [double]
Displacement of the subreflector along the y axis. [double]
Displacement of the subreflector along the z axis. [double]
Displacement of the feed along the feed axis. A positive value moves the feed closer to the subreflector. [double]
Rotation of the feed in degrees about the x axis. A positive value will rotate from the z axis through the y axis. [double]
Rotation of the feed in degrees about the y axis. A positive value will rotate from the x axis through the z axis. [double]
Rotation of the feed in degrees about the z axis. A positive value will rotate from the y axis through the x axis. [double]
Rotation of the subreflector in degrees about the x axis. A positive value will rotate from the z axis through the y axis. [double]
Rotation of the subreflector in degrees about the y axis. A positive value will rotate from the x axis through the z axis. [double]
Rotation of the subreflector in degrees about the z axis. A positive value will rotate from the y axis through the x axis. [double]
Defines the point about which the rotation of the subreflector is performed. The contents of the vector depend on the number of elements are provided: either only the z value, or the x and y values, or the x, y, and z values. [vector (1 or 2 or 3)]

Operating condition parameters

A string to tell what output to produce. The string can be `all', `none', or a string containing flag characters. The default value is `all', meaning produce all possible output. `none' will produce only messages on the screen and no output files. The characters of the general string mean the following:
a Save the aperture images;
j Save the Jones matrices in a table;
p Save the parameters;
s Save the polarized beams.
Note that the string is case insensitive. [string]
A user supplied diffraction efficiency. If none is provided, an internal algorithm that is not very good is used. This needs to be upgraded! [double]
The frequency in GHz at which the calculation will be run. [double, > 0]
Specifies a fixed grid size. If odd, the next even number will be used. This option overrides any setting of oversamp and is the preferred method of setting the grid size. Setting it to a value less than 32 will result in a grid size of 32. [integer, >= 32]
The fraction of power that scatters off the struts toward the ground. The default value is 0.2. [double, >= 0, <= 1]
A factor of the efficiency calculation that contains ``everything else''. The user is responsible for choosing a realistic value for this. A default of 1 (i.e., 100%) is assumed if this parameter is not provided. [double, >= 0, <= 1]
The prefix for all output files. The default is cassbeam. A dot will always separate the prefix from any trailing characters. [string]
One way of specifying the grid size. This option will make the grid on the primary fine enough to accommodate 4* oversamp*R/lambda points. The default is 1. Note that vastly ``undersampling'' is fine as the field is never calculated anywhere between the feed and the aperture plane. Normally blockage calculations and constancy of the illumination will dictate the required sampling. See gridsize for an alternate way of specifying the grid. This parameter is ignored if gridsize is set. [double, > 0]
This is the approximate number of pixels that the core of the beam will occupy in the output images. [int, > 0]
The temperature in Kelvin of the ground. The default value is 290. [double, > 0]
The equivalent temperature of the receiver. This adds into the system temperature. The default value is 50. [double, > 0]
The temperature in Kelvin of the sky. The default value is 3 for frequencies over 1 GHz, and 3 * 10^-2.5 nu for frequencies below 1 GHz. [double, > 0]


Up to 12 output files are generated depending on which compute options were selected at run time. These files are listed below. The letter in brackets in the section headings indicate which option is used to enable this file to be written. All output files begin with the value of the input parameter out. Currently all output images are in PGM format, which is a very simple greyscale image format supported by most unix-based image viewers.

Aperture images [a]

Three images are generated that allow the aperture field to be examined qualitatively. If quantitative numbers are needed, the source code should be modified to export the illumination parameters.
Raster image showing the amplitude of the illumination pattern of the primary. No blockage is done at this point. The scale is linear in flux.
Raster image showing the net phase (pathlength multiplied by wave vector) at each point on the primary. A phase gradient is removed. Portions of the image that correspond to zero flux have an arbitrary phase.
Raster image showing the blocked portion of the aperture. White means that this part of the dish is experiences either plane wave blockage from the sky or spherical wave blockage from the feed, and thus does not contribute to the gain of the antenna.

Jones matrix file [j]

The Jones matrix file, out.jones.dat contains the Jones matrix (see Hamaker et al. 1996 for details) corresponding to the effect of the antenna on the incoming radiation as a function of position on the sky. The file is organized as an eight column ascii. The first row corresponds to the point on the image with smallest l and m. The rastering then proceeds first with increasing l, and then with increasing m. There are a total of n^2 rows, where n is the smallest odd number greater than or equal to the gridsize used. The matrices are rastered on a sine-projected coordinate system tangent to the sky at the beam center, which corresponds to row number (n^2+1)/2. At the beam center the pixel scale is given by the output parameter beampixelscale, which is stored in the output file out.params described below.

Parameter file [p]

The parameter file, out.params is an output file in the same format as the input file, containing all of the input parameters that were specified (even if on the command line) as well as many output values. They are:
The effective area of the antenna [m^2]. [double]
The effective area of the antenna divided by the system temperature [m^2/K]. [double]
The amplitude efficiency. [double]
The scale of the generated beam images [deg/pixel]. [double]
The blockage efficiency. [double]
The diffraction efficiency. [double]
The full width at half max of the beam in the l direction. [double]
The full width at half max of the beam in the m direction. [double]
The gain G of the antenna. [double]
The illumination efficiency. [double]
The directivity of the greatest sidelobe relative to the peak directivity of the beam. [double]
The phase efficiency. [double]
The l component of the pointing offset from the z axis measured in the image plane. [double]
The m component of the pointing offset from the z axis measured in the image plane. [double]
The primary spillover efficiency. [double]
The name of the program run, which is cassbeam. [string]
The miscellaneous efficiency. [double]
The spillover efficiency. [double]
The subreflector spillover efficiency. [double]
The surface efficiency. [double]
The total efficiency calculated for the antenna. [double]
The system temperature. [double]
The software version number. [string]

Polarized beam images [s]

With the s option, cassbeam will produce 7 images of the beam showing in the four Stokes parameters the response to an unpolarized source as a function of the position of the source on the sky. This information is derived from the Jones matrices which are saved in out.jones.dat. These images are meant for qualitative inspection. The Jones matrices contain the formal output.
Stokes I - total intensity;
Stokes Q - excess linear polarization e_1 over e_2;
Stokes U - excess linear polarization in e'_1 over e'_2
Stokes V - excess right circular polarzation over left circular polarization;
The ratio of the Stokes Q image to the Stokes I image;
The ratio of the Sytokes U image to the Stokes I image;
The ratio of the Stokes V image to the Stokes I image;


Cassbeam is written by Walter Brisken, National Radio Astronomy Observatory. This manpage is extracted from his cassbeam manual.


See the complete manual in /usr/share/doc/cassbeam/ for more information.
18 Aug 2003 1.0