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  • richardmitnick 11:49 am on January 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , BAOs, SKA - Square Kilometre Array   

    From astrobites: “Detecting Cosmic Sound using the Square Kilometer Array” 

    Astrobites bloc


    Jan 18, 2017
    Joshua Kerrigan

    Title: Baryonic acoustic oscillations from 21cm intensity mapping: the Square Kilometre Array case

    Authors: Francisco Villaescuse-Navarro, David Alonso, and Matteo Viel
    First Author’s Institution: Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, INAF
    Status: Published in MNRAS, [open access]

    You may be familiar with the tagline from the movie Alien, “In space, no one can hear you scream”, but what if I told you on cosmological scales there is somewhat of an exception? During the earliest periods of the universe, cosmic forces led to a phenomenon that would be analogous to sound. In today’s bite, we will see how astronomers plan to detect these oscillations.

    Cosmological Sound or Baryon Acoustic Oscillations

    The competing forces of gravity and radiation pressure, caused fluctuations in the densities of galaxies and the Intergalactic Medium (IGM), resulting in periodic dense and under-dense regions of space. The oscillations in density are what we refer to as Baryon Acoustic Oscillations (BAOs). They provide a standard ruler for cosmological scales comparable to how supernovae are used as standard candles, and therefore can be very useful for constraining cosmological parameters.

    How to detect Ancient Sound

    The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) is one of the most ambitious, if not the most ambitious radio telescope arrays ever proposed.

    SKA Square Kilometer Array
    SKA CSIRO  Pathfinder Telescope

    It will cover the radio bandwidth of 50 MHz to 14 GHz by utilizing several different antenna designs and have a square kilometer of collecting area. Today’s paper only concerns the Phase 1 mid to high frequency (350 MHz to 14 GHz) array of the SKA, known as SKA1-Mid.

    Detection of BAOs can be accomplished by a large scale mapping of unresolved emission from neutral hydrogen (HI), also known as the 21cm emission (for its wavelength). HI can give us this ability to map out huge swaths of space, as it is the most abundant element in the universe and exists everywhere. However it’s not as simple as using a radio telescope and pointing towards the sky. Galactic and extragalactic foregrounds that are extremely bright can overpower the BAO signal and there is also the issue of the instrument’s response (how the receiver sees a signal) and noise. To determine the feasibility of detecting BAOs using SKA1-Mid with this technique, the authors turn to simulation. They simulate a cosmological HI signal and galactic/extragalactic foregrounds, as if they were observed by the proposed SKA1-Mid in single dish mode for intensity mapping. There were then 3 versions of the final simulations to compare, one with just the cosmological HI signal, the HI signal + instrument noise, and the HI signal + foregrounds + instrument noise.

    Some wiggle room for BAOs

    Figure 1: Measurements of a simulation (Red) with only the HI cosmological signal. It can be seen that the models with BAOs (Blue) closely follow the measurements of the HI signal, but the real test is whether the SKA1-Mid can detect the BAO signal through foregrounds and noise.

    The authors report a difficulty in accurately pinning down a BAO detection at low (z~0.6) and high (z~2.5) redshifts. At low redshifts a detection is limited by a weak BAO signal, while the high redshift region is limited by the telescope beam size smearing out the signal and reducing the signal to noise ratio. In Fig. 1 the cosmological HI signal (free of noise or foregrounds) was sampled and fit to 2 models, a BAO and non-BAO model. In that case, a very clear detection could be technically possible. They go on to show that when including foregrounds and instrument response, the number of simulations with clear detections over redshift begin to drop. The highest redshift bin closest to the end of reionization at z=2.5, shows a decline to 75% of simulations with a clear BAO detection.

    These results point out that a potential BAO detection for the SKA1 could be right around the corner, lending support to previous BAO measurements by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and WiggleZ. We are certainly entering an exciting era of radio astronomy and cosmology. These new instruments have the ability to give us a wealth of new information on BAOs, fast radio bursts, the epoch of reionization and the cosmic dark ages.

    See the full article here .

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    What do we do?

    Astrobites is a daily astrophysical literature journal written by graduate students in astronomy. Our goal is to present one interesting paper per day in a brief format that is accessible to undergraduate students in the physical sciences who are interested in active research.
    Why read Astrobites?

    Reading a technical paper from an unfamiliar subfield is intimidating. It may not be obvious how the techniques used by the researchers really work or what role the new research plays in answering the bigger questions motivating that field, not to mention the obscure jargon! For most people, it takes years for scientific papers to become meaningful.
    Our goal is to solve this problem, one paper at a time. In 5 minutes a day reading Astrobites, you should not only learn about one interesting piece of current work, but also get a peek at the broader picture of research in a new area of astronomy.

  • richardmitnick 4:08 pm on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , SKA - Square Kilometre Array   

    From icrar: “Australian Desert Telescope Views Sky in Radio Technicolor” 

    ICRAR Logo
    International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research


    Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker (Curtin University, ICRAR)
    E: nhw@icrar.org
    M: +61 426 192 677

    Associate Professor Randall Wayth (Curtin University, ICRAR, CAASTRO)
    E: randall.wayth@icrar.org
    M: +61 418 282 359

    Pete Wheeler, Media Contact, ICRAR
    E: pete.wheeler@icrar.org
    M: +61 423 982 018

    Tamara Hunter, Media Contact, Curtin University
    E: tamara.hunter@curtin.edu.au
    M: +61 (08) 9266 3353

    A ‘radio colour’ view of the sky above a ‘tile’ of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope, located in outback Western Australia. The Milky Way is visible as a band across the sky and the dots beyond are some of the 300,000 galaxies observed by the telescope for the GLEAM survey. Red indicates the lowest frequencies, green the middle frequencies and blue the highest frequencies. Credit: Radio image by Natasha Hurley-Walker (ICRAR/Curtin) and the GLEAM Team. MWA tile and landscape by Dr John Goldsmith / Celestial Visions.

    A telescope located deep in the West Australian outback has shown what the Universe would look like if human eyes could see radio waves.

    Published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA, or ‘GLEAM’ survey, has produced a catalogue of 300,000 galaxies observed by the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), a $50 million radio telescope located at a remote site northeast of Geraldton.

    Lead author Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker, from Curtin University and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said this is the first radio survey to image the sky in such amazing technicolour.

    “The human eye sees by comparing brightness in three different primary colours – red, green and blue,” Dr Hurley-Walker said.

    “GLEAM does rather better than that, viewing the sky in 20 primary colours.

    “That’s much better than we humans can manage, and it even beats the very best in the animal kingdom, the mantis shrimp, which can see 12 different primary colours,” she said.

    GLEAM is a large-scale, high-resolution survey of the radio sky observed at frequencies from 70 to 230 MHz, observing radio waves that have been travelling through space—some for billions of years.

    “Our team are using this survey to find out what happens when clusters of galaxies collide,” Dr Hurley-Walker said.

    “We’re also able to see the remnants of explosions from the most ancient stars in our galaxy, and find the first and last gasps of supermassive black holes.”

    MWA Director Associate Professor Randall Wayth, from Curtin University and ICRAR, said GLEAM is one of the biggest radio surveys of the sky ever assembled.

    “The area surveyed is enormous,” he said. “Large sky surveys like this are extremely valuable to scientists and they’re used across many areas of astrophysics, often in ways the original researchers could never have imagined,” Associate Professor Wayth said.

    Completing the GLEAM survey with the MWA is a big step on the path to SKA-low, the low frequency part of the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope to be built in Australia in the coming years.

    SKA Square Kilometer Array

    “It’s a significant achievement for the MWA telescope and the team of researchers that have worked on the GLEAM survey,” Associate Professor Wayth said.

    The MWA

    The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a low frequency radio telescope located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia’s Mid West.

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, in Western Australia

    The MWA observes radio waves with frequencies between 70 and 320 MHz and was the first of the three Square Kilometre Array (SKA) precursors to be completed.

    A consortium of 13 partner institutions from four countries (Australia, USA, India and New Zealand) has financed the development, construction, commissioning and operations of the facility. Since commencing operations in mid 2013 the consortium has grown to include new partners from Canada and Japan.

    Key science for the MWA ranges from the search for redshifted HI signals from the Epoch of Reionisation to wide-field searches for transient and variable objects (including pulsars and Fast Radio Bursts), wide-field Galactic and extra-galactic surveys, and solar and heliospheric science.

    The SKA

    The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, led by SKA Organisation based at the Jodrell Bank Observatory near Manchester, England. Co-located primarily in South Africa and Western Australia, the SKA will be a collection of hundreds of thousands of radio antennas with a combined collecting area equivalent to approximately one million square metres, or one square kilometre. The SKA will conduct transformational science to improve our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics, monitoring the sky in unprecedented detail and mapping it hundreds of times faster than any current facility.

    See the full article here .

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    ICRAR is an equal joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia with funding support from the State Government of Western Australia. The Centre’s headquarters are located at UWA, with research nodes at both UWA and the Curtin Institute for Radio Astronomy (CIRA).
    ICRAR has strong support from the government of Australia and is working closely with industry and the astronomy community, including CSIRO and the Australian Telescope National Facility, iVEC, and the international SKA Project Office (SPO), based in the UK.

    ICRAR is:

    Playing a key role in the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, the world’s biggest ground-based telescope array.

    SKA Square Kilometer Array
    Attracting some of the world’s leading researchers in radio astronomy, who will also contribute to national and international scientific and technical programs for SKA and ASKAP.
    Creating a collaborative environment for scientists and engineers to engage and work with industry to produce studies, prototypes and systems linked to the overall scientific success of the SKA, MWA and ASKAP.

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array
    A Small part of the Murchison Widefield Array

    Enhancing Australia’s position in the international SKA program by contributing to the development process for the SKA in scientific, technological and operational areas.
    Promoting scientific, technical, commercial and educational opportunities through public outreach, educational material, training students and collaborative developments with national and international educational organisations.
    Establishing and maintaining a pool of emerging and top-level scientists and technologists in the disciplines related to radio astronomy through appointments and training.
    Making world-class contributions to SKA science, with emphasis on the signature science themes associated with surveys for neutral hydrogen and variable (transient) radio sources.
    Making world-class contributions to SKA capability with respect to developments in the areas of Data Intensive Science and support for the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory.

  • richardmitnick 12:54 pm on October 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , SKA - Square Kilometre Array, University of the Western Cape   

    From Nature: “A beacon in the bush becomes an astronomy powerhouse” 

    Nature Mag

    13 October 2016
    Linda Nordling

    Afripics / Alamy Stock Photo

    The architects of South Africa’s apartheid regime never meant for the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on the outskirts of Cape Town to excel at anything. Created in 1960 as a ‘bush college’ to provide black South Africans with limited training, it was not expected to compete with the country’s well-resourced research universities. Its squat buildings were erected far from the city’s wealthy shopping malls, leafy parks and pristine beaches.

    While the legacy of apartheid looms large in many of South Africa’s social and economic structures, the UWC is not defined by its past. Since the fall of the regime in 1994, the university has established an impressive research record, increasing its articles in Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science database from 31 that year to 657 in 2015, a rise of more than 2000%. In 2014 the university ranked fifth in South Africa for the number of staff holding PhDs — joining the country’s historically ‘white’ institutions in that measure.

    But, it’s in physical sciences that UWC really punches above its weight compared to South Africa’s elite institutions. The university’s contribution to physical science research in the index, measured by weighted fractional count (WFC), more than doubled between 2012 and 2015. Meanwhile, the University of Cape Town, with its century-long history of academic excellence and sterling research record, saw its WFC in physical science fall slightly over the same time.

    Astronomical ambitions

    UWC’s rise in the index is largely due to publications in astronomy, says Roy Maartens, the head of the physics department’s astronomy research group. Maartens returned from the UK to South Africa, his home country, in 2011 to take up UWC’s new chair in radio astronomy. The position was part of the government’s push to boost the country’s chances of winning its bid to host the Square Kilometre Array, a giant radio telescope. And South Africa won. The majority of the telescope, which will comprise thousands of radio antennae spread across a vast area, including countries further north in Africa, will be built in South Africa’s central Karoo semi-desert. The growth of UWC’s astronomy group over the past decade, from none to 6 staff, 15 postdoctoral researchers and 13 postgraduate students today, has been backed by national investments in the SKA. The UWC group is leading efforts to turn the SKA into a state-of-the-art cosmology experiment, probing the structure of dark energy and testing Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

    Maartens also made UWC history a few years ago when he became the first researcher at the institution to be awarded an A1 rating by the country’s National Research Foundation. The accolade comes with modest funding for the department, but the main impact is symbolic because it is only given to researchers judged to be global leaders in their fields, says Reggie Madjoe, a materials science professor at the university. That, and getting the department a decent coffee machine. “We used to make do with instant, but now with all the famous scientists visiting we need to be able to offer something better,” he says.

    To Madjoe and others like him, who could only study at UWC, the achievements of the university’s faculty offer great personal satisfaction. “I have to pinch myself,” he says. To this day UWC’s students are mostly non-white, but this makes its academic achievements all the more vital for the future of South Africa, Madjoe says. “We are shaking off the shackles of history. This is a place for everybody, a place for quality, a place to grow,” he says.

    Maarten believes this is just the beginning for UWC and its astronomy group. When a precursor of the SKA, MeerKAT, comes online next year it will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope until the SKA is built, says Maartens.

    SKA Meerkat telescope, South African design
    SKA Meerkat telescope, South African design

    SKA South Africa Icon
    SKA Square Kilometer Array

    UWC researchers will use MeerKAT to study galaxy populations and their evolution. “It presents a fantastic opportunity. Our success so far is nice but we have bigger fish to fry,” he says.

    However, both of Maarten and Madjoe acknowledge the university may face tough times ahead. Last year, violent protests suspended classes at campuses all over the country, with students demanding an end to tuition fees. At the UWC campus students burnt buildings. The government has estimated the cost of vandalism nationwide at more than R600 million (US$43m)

    As the 2016 academic year draws to a close, violence has erupted again. There are widespread concerns that extended unrest will threaten research at the country’s universities. Projects such as the SKA, which are of high national priority, are giving UWC astronomy a buffer for now, says Maartens.

    See the full article here .

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    Nature is a weekly international journal publishing the finest peer-reviewed research in all fields of science and technology on the basis of its originality, importance, interdisciplinary interest, timeliness, accessibility, elegance and surprising conclusions. Nature also provides rapid, authoritative, insightful and arresting news and interpretation of topical and coming trends affecting science, scientists and the wider public.

  • richardmitnick 10:15 am on September 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Science | Business, SKA - Square Kilometre Array,   

    From SKA via Science Business: “Square Kilometre Array prepares for the ultimate big data challenge” 

    SKA Square Kilometer Array



    Science | Business

    22 September 2016
    Éanna Kelly

    The world’s most powerful radio telescope will collect more information each day than the entire internet. Major advances in computing are required to handle this data, but it can be done, says Bernie Fanaroff, strategic advisor for the SKA

    The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world’s most powerful telescope, will be ready from day one to gather an unprecedented volume of data from the sky, even if the supporting technical infrastructure is yet to be built.

    “We’ll be ready – the technology is getting there,” Bernie Fanaroff, strategic advisor for the most expensive and sensitive radio astronomy project in the world, told Science|Business.

    Construction of the SKA is due to begin in 2018 and finish sometime in the middle of the next decade. Data acquisition will begin in 2020, requiring a level of processing power and data management know-how that outstretches current capabilities.

    Astronomers estimate that the project will generate 35,000-DVDs-worth of data every second. This is equivalent to “the whole world wide web every day,” said Fanaroff.

    The project is investing in machine learning and artificial intelligence software tools to enable the data analysis. In advance of construction of the vast telescope – which will consist of some 250,000 radio antennas split between sites in Australia and South Africa – SKA already employs more than 400 engineers and technicians in infrastructure, fibre optics and data collection.

    The project is also working with IBM, which recently opened a new R&D centre in Johannesburg, on a new supercomputer. SKA will have two supercomputers to process its data, one based in Cape Town and one in Perth, Australia.

    Recently, elements of the software under development were tested on the world’s second fastest supercomputer, the Tianhe-2, located in the National Supercomputer Centre in Guangzhou, China. It is estimated a supercomputer with three times the power of Tianhe-2 will need to be built in the next decade to cope with all the SKA data.

    In addition to the analysis, the project requires large off-site data warehouses. These will house storage devices custom-built in South Africa. “There were too many bells and whistles with the stuff commercial providers were offering us. It was far too expensive, so we’ve designed our own servers which are cheaper,” said Fanaroff.

    Fanaroff was formerly director of SKA, retiring at the end of 2015, but remaining as a strategic advisor to the project. He was in Brussels this week to explore how African institutions could gain access to the European Commission’s new Europe-wide science cloud, tentatively scheduled to go live in 2020.

    Ten countries are members of the SKA, which has its headquarters at Manchester University’s Jodrell Bank Observatory, home of the world’s third largest fully-steerable radio telescope. The bulk of SKA’s funding has come from South Africa, Australia and the UK.

    Currently its legal status is as a British registered company, but Fanaroff says the plan is to create an intergovernmental arrangement similar to CERN. “The project needs a treaty to lock in funding,” he said.

    Early success

    On SKA’s website is a list of five untold secrets of the cosmos, which the telescope will explore. These include how the very first stars and galaxies formed just after the Big Bang.

    However, Fanaroff, believes the Eureka moment will be something nobody could have imagined. “It’ll make its name, like every telescope does, by discovering an unknown, unknown,” he said.

    A first taste of the SKA’s potential arrived in July through the MeerKAT telescope, which will form part of the SKA. MeerKAT will eventually consist of 64 dishes, but the power of the 16 already installed has surpassed Fanaroff’s expectations.

    SKA Meerkat telescope, 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA
    SKA Meerkat telescope, 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA

    The telescope revealed over a thousand previously unknown galaxies. “Two things were remarkable: when we switched it on, people told us it was going to take a long time to work. But it collected very good images from day one. Also, our radio receivers worked four times better than specified,” he said. Some 500 scientists have already booked time on the array.

    Researchers with the Breakthrough Listen project, a search for intelligent life funded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, would also like a slot, Fanaroff said. Their hunt is exciting and a good example of the sort of bold mission for which SKA will be built. “It’s high-risk, high-reward territory. If you search for aliens and you find nothing, you end your career with no publications. But on the other hand you could be involved in one of the biggest discoveries ever,” said Fanaroff.

    Golden age

    SKA has helped put South Africa’s scientific establishment in the shop window says Fanaroff, referring to the recent Nature Index, which indicates the country’s scientists are publishing record levels of high-quality research, mostly in astronomy. “It’s the start of a golden age,” Fanaroff predicted.

    Not that the SKA does not have its critics. With so much public funding going to the telescope, “Some scientists were a little bit bitter at the beginning,” Fanaroff said. “But that has faded with the global interest from science and industry we’re attracting. The SKA can go on to be a platform for all science in Africa, not just astronomy.”

    See the full article here .

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    SKA Banner

    SKA CSIRO  Pathfinder Telescope
    SKA ASKAP Pathefinder Telescope

    SKA Meerkat telescope
    SKA Meerkat Telescope

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array
    SKA Murchison Wide Field Array

    About SKA

    The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. The total collecting area will be approximately one square kilometre giving 50 times the sensitivity, and 10 000 times the survey speed, of the best current-day telescopes. The SKA will be built in Southern Africa and in Australia. Thousands of receptors will extend to distances of 3 000 km from the central regions. The SKA will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang, how dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the Universe, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth. Construction of phase one of the SKA is scheduled to start in 2016. The SKA Organisation, with its headquarters at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Manchester, UK, was established in December 2011 as a not-for-profit company in order to formalise relationships between the international partners and centralise the leadership of the project.

    The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, led by SKA Organisation. The SKA will conduct transformational science to improve our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics, monitoring the sky in unprecedented detail and mapping it hundreds of times faster than any current facility.

    Already supported by 10 member countries – Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom – SKA Organisation has brought together some of the world’s finest scientists, engineers and policy makers and more than 100 companies and research institutions across 20 countries in the design and development of the telescope. Construction of the SKA is set to start in 2018, with early science observations in 2020.

  • richardmitnick 9:20 am on September 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , SKA - Square Kilometre Array   

    From AARNet: “Building the Square Kilometre Array” 



    No writer credit found

    AARNet is among the Australian participants in the global Square Kilometre Array project

    SKA Square Kilometer Array

    The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an ambitious global scientific and engineering project to build the world’s largest most sensitive telescope co-located in remote desert regions of southern Africa and Western Australia. The project is currently in the design and pre-construction phase. Australia and New Zealand collaborated to establish the SKA candidate site in Western Australia and also to build the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope now located there.

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia
    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    When the SKA is operational, hundreds of thousands of antennas will hugely increase the ability of astronomers to explore the far reaches of the universe and address mysteries around dark energy, gravity and life elsewhere.

    Watch this video produced by the Australian Government Department of Industry for an explanation about the project and the role Australia plays:

    You can also learn all about the SKA project at the SKA Organisation website.

    More than 250 scientists and engineers from 18 countries and nearly 100 institutions, universities and industry will be involved in ‘work packages’ for different elements of the design. Australian industry and research institutes will participate in seven of the eleven work packages, with AARNet working with CSIRO in Signal and Data Transport (including synchronisation) (SaDT).

    Expanding the network to meet the needs of the SKA

    To enable Australia’s participation in the SKA project, AARNet expanded its network across the Nullabor, from Adelaide to Perth and on to the Murchison Radio Observatory (MRO), the future home of the SKA in remote outback Western Australia.

    The newly deployed terrestrial network is capable of transmission speeds of up to 8 Terabits per second (Tbps). The network expansion is a component of the National Research Network (NRN) Project, an initiative of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, funded from the Education Investment Fund under the Super Science (Future Industries)

    Connecting the SKA precursor telescopes at the MRO

    To develop technologies for the SKA, two precursor telescopes, the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), have been built and are now operating at the MRO. AARNet Interconnects the telescopes at the MRO with the computer processing required for extracting useful information from the signals. Fast reliable research network connectivity is critical for processing data generated from the new radio telescopes.

    The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) is an innovative new radio telescope consisting of 36 identical 12-metre wide dish antennas. Plans are in place to add 60 more dishes to the telescope in the SKA’s first phase. The ASKAP uses revolutionary Phased Array Feed (PAF) technology, developed in Australia by CSIRO and others, which enables each dish to survey the sky with a much wider field of view. The volume of data generated by the PAFs and low frequency receivers will be substantial.

    CSIRO and AARNet worked together to connect the ASKAP antennas to the AARNet network. New optical fibres were laid between Geraldton and ASKAP, connecting to the new Geraldton-Perth link constructed by Nextgen Networks for the federal government-funded Regional Backbone Blackspots Program. This enables ASKAP to connect directly via a high-capacity link to the Pawsey supercomputing facilities in Perth.

    The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a revolutionary static low-frequency telescope that can be shared by observers studying different parts of the sky at the same time.

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, in Western Australia
    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, in Western Australia

    Knowledge gained from the MWA will contribute to the development of the low-frequency component of the SKA to be built in Phase two.

    AARNet and CSIRO collaborated to deliver a transmission network for the MWA. The network is installed on fibre optic infrastructure constructed by AARNet for the CSIRO and by Nextgen Networks for the federal government-funded Regional Backbone Blackspots Program.

    AARNet is providing the network services for the transmission of the data between the MWA sensors and the Pawsey High Performance Computing Centre for SKA Science, located 800kms away in Perth.

    The network is scalable to support the needs of the MWA now and into future early phases of the SKA.

    See the full article here .

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    AARNet provides critical infrastructure for driving innovation in today’s knowledge-based economy

    Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet) is a national resource – a National Research and Education Network (NREN). AARNet provides unique information communications technology capabilities to enable Australian education and research institutions to collaborate with each other and their international peer communities.

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