COMRAD is a COMpendium of RADiosources prepared by Alan Wright & Heinz Andernach. It is based on the data tables supplied by Heinz Andernach and Carolyn Stern-Grant from the EINLINE database.

The data can be obtained from the Australia Telescope National Facility's anonymous FTP server in the COMRAD All-Sky Compendium area

The main aim of COMRAD is not to reproduce all the same data contained in the EINLINE collection but, rather, to give the basic information about radiosources (position, fluxes etc.) in a single format and to reference where the more extensive data can be found. Perhaps most importantly of all, COMRAD is meant to be used on a stand-alone- machine, such as a PC. It therefore permits rapid searching and graphing without the speed limitations imposed by network access.

As a first step in this work, we have included 12 data files into COMRAD. These were chosen to include many of the larger and more important southern and northern finding surveys. However, many more remain to be included in later versions.

The basic form of COMRAD is as a large (~30Mb) dBase file (COMRAD.DBF). For copying via FTP, this file has been compressed to ~10Mb and has the name COMRAD.EXE. This is a self-extracting PKZIP file which should be "executed" on an IBM/PC-compatible machine (having at least 40 Mb of hard disk space free!) in order to decompress it.

Copy COMRAD.EXE to a suitably-named directory on your hard disk (for example, C:\COMRAD) and then type COMRAD. The self-extraction process should begin. When complete, the COMRAD.EXE file may be deleted.

To view and work with COMRAD, after decompression, a suitable PC program will be necessary. A copy of dBase itself (either version III+ or IV) will provide the most flexibility. However, almost all database programs can read and write dBase files and even some spreadsheet programs (e.g. Excel and Lotus) provide these functions.

Failing all of these, we have provided some utilities in the same area from which you downloaded COMRAD.
In order of increasing "power" these are:

  1. DBVIEW!.EXE, a simple dBase file viewer
  2. QBASE!.EXE, a dBase "query" generator which can select COMRAD sources according to specified criteria
  3. WAMPUM!.EXE, a fully-fledged dBase "clone" which permits querying and editting of the COMRAD file.

All these programs are "Shareware" and may be freely used for an evaluation period of time (typically several weeks). If you find them useful after this, we urge you to obey the Shareware ethic and send the appropriate (and small!) registration fee to the original authors, as described in the accompanying documentation. To test these access programs on your machine, download them to the same directory as COMRAD is installed in, and type their names (e.g. WAMPUM!). The self-extraction process will begin and, when complete, you should read the relevant documentation for each program.

The fields presently contained in COMRAD are as follows:

  • CAT code giving the reference from which the data was drawn (see below)
  • NAMEJ name derived from the (J2000 equinox and equator) positions
  • RAJ right ascension (J2000)
  • ERA standard error in right ascension (seconds of time)
  • DECJ declination (J2000)
  • EDEC standard error in the declination (arcseconds)
  • FLUX flux density in mJy
  • EFLUX standard error in flux (mJy)
  • FREQ frequency of the above flux measurement (MHz)
  • RAB right ascension (B1950)
  • DECB declination (B1950)
  • ONAME original name as given in the source reference (except where that name is simply the "J-derived" name
The J2000 position is given to a standard precision of 0.1 secs of time and 1 arcsec for RA and Dec respectively even in the few cases where the original positions were of a higher accuracy. The B1950 positions (where available) are reproduced exactly as stated in the original references.

We have not provided data in some fields (such as EFLUX) where it was not obvious from the original reference what values to use. In a later version of COMRAD it may be possible to fill in this missing information by a more careful study of the original references.

REFERENCES to the data presently contained in COMRAD are as follows: