You are here: Home / Processing / Science Pipeline

Science Pipeline

The ALMA Science Pipeline has been developed with the goal of performing automated data processing before delivery to the user. It performs ALMA interferometric and single-dish data end-to-end processing (calibration and imaging).

This page provides access to the following pipeline resources:

  1. Obtaining the Pipeline Software
  2. Pipeline Documentation
  3. Pipeline Known Issues
  4. Pipeline Version Tracker

1. ALMA Science Pipeline Software

The ALMA Science Pipeline is released as part of CASA, the Common Astronomy Software Applications package. Instructions for downloading and installing CASA are available from the Obtaining CASA site. 

ALMA data should be able to be processed with a the same or a more recent version of the pipeline as was used for the original processing (which is reported in the README file in the archive as well as on the Home page of the WebLog). However, if problems arise you should try reprocessing using the exact same pipeline version as originally used. The official pipeline versions used at various times are reported in the Pipeline Version Tracker tables on this page.

2. ALMA Science Pipeline Documentation

The following table lists current (bold font) and past versions of the ALMA Science Pipeline User's Guide and Reference Manual.

ALMA Science Pipeline User's Guide ALMA Science Pipeline Reference Manual
User's Guide for CASA 5.6.1
User's Guide for CASA 5.4 Reference Manual for CASA 5.4
User's Guide for CASA 5.1.1
User's Guide for CASA 4.7.2 Reference Manual for CASA 4.7.2
User's Guide for CASA 4.7.0 Reference Manual for CASA 4.7.0
Quickstart Guide for CASA 4.5.1 Reference Manual for CASA 4.5.1
Quickstart Guide for CASA 4.3.1 Reference Manual for CASA 4.3.1
Quickstart Guide for CASA 4.2.2 Reference Manual for CASA 4.2.2

Additionally, a CASAguide describing interferometric pipeline re-imaging examples is available at:

3. Newly Discovered Issues affecting the current ALMA Science Pipeline

A listing of pipeline limitations that are known at the time of the pipeline release is given in Section 2 of the current ALMA Pipeline User's Guide. The following table lists any additional issues which arise after the software release for a given cycle. It will be updated to denote whether an issue has been fixed and whether this fix has made it into an updated release.

Security settings on recent browsers:
Recent browsers (Firefox version 68.0.2 or greater, likely the most recent revisions of other browsers as well) have strict security defaults for javascript in files on the user’s local disk.  The pipeline weblog uses javascript, and one sometimes gets “0 error” or “void(0) error” or blank frames when displaying a locally downloaded weblog.  This issue does not affect weblogs being served over an html server. 
The solution is to slightly loosen the security setting.  In Firefox, go to the url “about:config”, accept the warning, then search for the setting “privacy.file_unique_origin” and turn that to false.   The Pipeline team is investigating if it is possible to create weblogs that conform to new stringent security settings, but all currently existing weblogs will be affected by this issue.

Issue NumberDescriptionPeriod when pipeline products affectedImpact and Work-around?Resolved?Deployed Version

4. ALMA Science Pipeline Version Tracker

The tables below list (1): the Pipeline+CASA versions run by ALMA Operations to calibrate & image ALMA data, and (2) the corresponding Pipeline+CASA versions available to users for restoring ALMA data. In general, pipeline tasks from any CASA release should run successfully on data from that cycle or earlier. Some differences will remain (e.g. the handling of system flags). To get the exact same results as an archived pipeline product, you should use the User version of CASA+Pipeline that corresponds to the Operations version used to produce the corresponding products.

Table 1. Pipeline+CASA Versions Used by ALMA Operations to Calibrate Data

This Table lists the Pipeline+CASA versions the user will see in the WebLog.

CASA Version for Operations PipelineOperations Pipeline
Reason for Version ChangeDate of Pipeline
Installations Upgrades
CASA Version to
use to restore Calibrated MS
4.2.2 r30986 r31351 Improved edge channel flagging, a fix to ms restore when BP and Phase calibrator are the same Nov 21 2014 most recent
4.2.2 r30986 r31667 Reduce flagging of 7m ACA datasets Nov 28 2014 most recent
4.3.1 r32491 r34044 Heuristics for low signal-to-noise ratio on calibrators, newer CASA version Aug 13 2015 most recent
4.5.1 r35996 r35932 Newer CASA version, calibration of Cycle 3 data Feb 2016 most recent
4.5.2 r36115 r36252 Handles change to Cycle 3 data, ephemeris object issue Mar 2016 most recent
4.7.0 r38335 r38377 Initial Cycle 4 pipeline Oct 2016 most recent
4.7.2 r39762 r39732 Cycle 4 pipeline patch Apr 2017 most recent
5.1.1-5 r40896 r40896 Initial Cycle 5 pipeline Oct 2017 most recent
5.4.0-70 r42254 Cycle 6 Pipeline Oct 2018 most recent
5.6.1-8 r42866 Cycle 7 Pipeline Oct 2019 most recent


Table 2. Pipeline+CASA Versions To Be Used by User to Restore Calibrated MS Data Packages

This Table lists the Pipeline+CASA versions that should be used by the user to restore calibrated data from tables downloaded from the archive.

CASA Version for User PipelineUser Pipeline
Reason for Version ChangeDateFile Released on (RedHat and Mac OS X versions) 
4.2.2 r30986 r31090 (Pipeline-Cycle2-R1-B) first release Oct 1 2014 casapy-42.2.30986-pipe-1-64b.tar.gz
4.3.1 r32491 r34044 (Pipeline-Cycle3-R1-B) second release Aug 13 2015 casa-release-4.3.1-pipe-1-el5.tar.gz or casa-release-4.3.1-pipe-1-el6.tar.gz
4.5.1 r35996 r35932 (Pipeline-Cycle3-R4-B) third release Feb 2016 casa-release-4.5.1-el5.tar.gz or casa-release-4.5.1-el6.tar.gz
4.5.2 r36115 r36091 (Pipeline-Cycle3-R4-B) Handles change to Cycle 3 data Mar 2016 casa-release-4.5.2-el5.tar.gz or casa-release-4.5.2-el6.tar.gz
4.7.0-1 r38335 r38377 (Pipeline-Cycle4-R2-B) Cycle 4 PL version, updated with patch for CAS-9131 Oct 2016 casa-release-4.7.0-1-el7.tar.gz, casa-release-4.7.0-1-el6.tar.gz, casa-release-4.7.0-1-10.10.dmg, casa-release-4.7.0-1-10.11.dmg
4.7.2 r39762 r39732 (Pipeline-Cycle4-R2-B) Cycle 4 PL version, updated for imaging intervention & various bug fixes Apr 2017 casa-release-4.7.2-el7.tar.gzcasa-release-4.7.2-el6.tar.gzcasa-release-4.7.2-10.11.dmgcasa-release-4.7.2-10.10.dmg
5.1.1-5 r40896 r40896 (Pipeline-Cycle5-R2-B) Cycle 5 PL version Oct 2017 casa-release-5.1.1-5.el7.tar.gzcasa-release-5.1.1-5.el6.tar.gzcasa-release-5.1.1-5-10.12.dmgcasa-release-5.1.1-5-10.11.dmg
5.4.0-70 r42866 r42866 (Pipeline-CASA54-P1-B) Cycle 6 PL version Oct 2018 casa-release-5.4.0-70.el7.tar.gzcasa-release-5.4.0-70.el6.tar.gzcasa-release-5.4.0-70.13.dmgcasa-release-5.4.0-70-10.12.dmg
5.6.1-8 r42831 r42831 (Pipeline-CASA56-P1-B) Cycle 7 PL version Oct 2019 casa-release-5.6.1-8.el7.tar.gzcasa-release-5.6.1-8.el6.tar.gzcasa-release-5.6.1-8.14.dmgcasa-release-5.6.1-8-10.13.dmg

The dates in this table should not be used to determine which Pipeline CASA version was used for the restoring and imaging of data in Operations. Please consult the README file in the data delivery or the version listed in the Home Page of the WebLog to determine which Pipeline CASA version was used.