SunCASA Installation

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SunCASA A Python package based on CASA (the Common Astronomy Software Applications package), which includes customized routines and scripts for visualizing and analyzing spectral imaging interferometric data specific to solar radio astronomy use cases.

  • CASA is one of the leading software tool for "supporting the data post-processing needs of the next generation of radio astronomical telescopes such as ALMA and VLA", an international effort led by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The current version of CASA uses Python (2.7) interface. More information about CASA can be found on NRAO's CASA website . Note, CASA is available ONLY on UNIX-BASED PLATFORMS (and therefore, so is SunCASA).
  • All solar-specific core routines of SunCASA are available publicly at the suncasa Github repository. However, they require CASA to function. We provide standalone packages that already include CASA (see below), in order to easily use SunCASA without the need to install CASA separately.

SunCASA is designed for reducing, visualizing, and analyzing solar interferometric data that adopt the standard CASA measurement set format. We have had success in using SunCASA for data from the Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA) and Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA). Modules could be added to the package to enable the analysis of data from other telescopes (such as ALMA). We encourage our colleagues in the community to help us test and improve the software.


We provide a standard disk image (dmg) for installation on MacOS. This is a repack of CASA 5.6.0-2 with additional site packages/scripts specifically wrote for solar data analysis. It has been tested to work under Mojave (macOS v10.14). YMMV for earlier versions of macOS. Installation steps below:

  1. Download SunCASA disk image (SunCASA-0.7.6_Pre-release.OSX.dmg). (536 MB)
  2. If you do not have Java SE Development Kit (JDK) installed on your Mac, please download from the official site and install it before SunCASA installation. The latest version (JDK 12) was tested to work properly. Earlier versions may also work but YMMV.
  3. Open the disk image file (if your browser does not do so automatically).
  4. Drag the SunCASA application to the Applications folder of your hard disk.
  5. Double-click the SunCASA application to run it for the first time. You may encounter the following prompts:
    • If the OS does not allow you to install apps from non-Apple sources, please change the settings in "System Preferences-> Security & Privacy -> General" and "Allow applications downloaded from: Mac App store and identified developers".
    • If the OS complaints that the package is damaged, please turn off the OS Gatekeeper temporarily by running command sudo spctl --master-disable in Terminal. Then double-click the SunCASA application again.
  6. Setup environments and search paths for SunCASA. To do so, run !install_suncasa from a SunCASA prompt.
    • (Optional) This step also allows to create symbolic links to the SunCASA version and its executables (default to be under /usr/local/bin; administrator privileges are required), which will allow you to run suncasa, casaviewer, casaplotms, etc. from any terminal command line.
  7. Important: Make sure to turn the OS Gatekeeper back on after the installation by running sudo spctl --master-enable in Terminal.
  8. (Optional) To update the CASA data repository, run !update-data from the SunCASA prompt.
  9. Exit the current SunCASA prompt, and restart SunCASA by double-clicking on the SunCASA application icon or typing suncasa in a Terminal window.

Now SunCASA has been up and running on your Mac.


To install SunCASA for Linux, we have a binary distribution of SunCASA which is available as a downloadable tar file. We have tested the package under Scientific Linux 6 (derived from RHEL 6) and CentOS 7 (equivalent to RHEL 7). They may work under some other Linux distributions (e.g. Ubuntu), but YMMV.

  1. Download the SunCASA Linux packages
  2. If you do not have Java installed on your machine, please download from the official site and install it before SunCASA installation. The latest version was tested to work properly. Earlier versions may also work but YMMV.
  3. The following libraries need to be available to run (Sun)CASA, if they do not already come with your distribution. In Redhat/CentOS, for example, use "yum install yourpackagename" to install.
    • xauth
    • libXft
    • libXi
    • libXrandr
    • libXfixes
    • libXcursor
    • libXinerama
    • libGL
    • libXpm
  4. Untar the package
    tar -xzvf SunCASA-release-##version##.tar.gz
  5. All executables, including suncasa are in the SunCASA-release-##version##/bin directory. Include these executables to your path (just for once; examples below are in bash)
    cd SunCASA-release-##version##/bin
  6. Then you can initialize SunCASA with the command in bash
  7. Optional: To update the data repository, run !update-data from the SunCASA prompt.

Now SunCASA has been successfully installed on your machine. Open a new Terminal and run suncasa. Enjoy!


Please contact Sijie Yu or Bin Chen for questions regarding installing SunCASA.