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  • richardmitnick 10:15 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: HPC in Australia, , SKA, The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre   

    From insideHPC: “Video: The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, SKA, and HPC in Australia” 

    From insideHPC

    October 12, 2019
    Rich Brueckner

    Magnus Cray XC40 supercomputer at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia

    Galaxy Cray XC30 Series Supercomputer at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia


    In this video from the HPC User Forum at Argonne, Mark Stickells presents: HPC and Data Down Under: The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, SKA, and HPC in Australia.

    “The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is an unincorporated joint venture between CSIRO, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia. It is supported by the Western Australian and Federal Governments. The Centre is one of two, Tier-1, High Performance Computing facilities in Australia, whose primary function is to accelerate scientific research for the benefit of the nation. Our service and expertise in supercomputing, data, cloud services and visualisation, enables research across a spread of domains including astronomy, life sciences, medicine, energy, resources and artificial intelligence.”

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    SKA

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    SKA

    See the full article here .

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    Founded on December 28, 2006, insideHPC is a blog that distills news and events in the world of HPC and presents them in bite-sized nuggets of helpfulness as a resource for supercomputing professionals. As one reader said, we’re sifting through all the news so you don’t have to!

    If you would like to contact me with suggestions, comments, corrections, errors or new company announcements, please send me an email at rich@insidehpc.com. Or you can send me mail at:

    insideHPC
    2825 NW Upshur
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    Phone: (503) 877-5048

     
  • richardmitnick 11:31 am on August 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "With open data scientists share their work", , , , Gran Sasso, SKA,   

    From Symmetry: “With open data, scientists share their work” 

    Symmetry Mag
    From Symmetry

    08/20/19
    Meredith Fore

    1
    Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago

    There are barriers to making scientific data open, but doing so has already contributed to scientific progress.

    It could be said that astronomy, one of the oldest sciences, was one of the first fields to have open data. The open records of Chinese astronomers from 1054 A.D. allowed astronomer Carlo Otto Lampland to identify the Crab Nebula as the remnant of a supernova in 1921.

    Supernova remnant Crab nebula. NASA/ESA Hubble

    In 1705 Edward Halley used the previous observations of Johannes Kepler and Petrus Apianus—who did their work before Halley was old enough to use a telescope—to deduce the orbit of his eponymous comet.

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    Comet 1P/Halley as taken March 8, 1986 by W. Liller, Easter Island, part of the International Halley Watch (IHW) Large Scale Phenomena Network.
    NASA/W. Liller

    In science, making data open means making available, free of charge, the observations or other information collected in a scientific study for the purpose of allowing other researchers to examine it for themselves, either to verify it or to conduct new analyses.

    Scientists continue to use open data to make new discoveries today. In 2010, a team of scientists led by Professor Doug Finkbeiner at Harvard University found vast gamma-ray bubbles above and below the Milky Way. The accomplishment was compared to the discovery of a new continent on Earth. The scientists didn’t find the bubbles by making their own observations; they did it by analyzing publicly available data from the Fermi Gamma Ray Telescope.

    NASA/Fermi LAT


    NASA/Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope

    “Open data often can be used to answer other kinds of questions that the people who collected the data either weren’t interested in asking, or they just never thought to ask,” says Kyle Cranmer, a professor at New York University. By making scientific data available, “you’re enabling a lot of new science by the community to go forward in a more efficient and powerful way.”

    Cranmer is a member of ATLAS, one of the two general-purpose experiments that, among other things, co-discovered the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

    CERN ATLAS Image Claudia Marcelloni

    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event

    He and other CERN researchers recently published a letter in Nature Physics titled “Open is not enough,” which shares lessons learned about providing open data in high-energy physics. The CERN Open Data Portal, which facilitates public access of datasets from CERN experiments, now contains more than two petabytes of information.

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    Computing at CERN

    The fields of both particle physics and astrophysics have seen rapid developments in the use and spread of open data, says Ulisses Barres, an astrophysicist at the Brazilian Center for Research in Physics. “Astronomy is going to, in the next decade, increase the amount of data that it produces by a factor of hundreds,” he says. “As the amount of data grows, there is more pressure for increasing our capacity to convert information into knowledge.”

    The Square Kilometer Array Telescope—built in Australia and South Africa and set to turn on in the 2020s—is expected to produce about 600 terabytes of data per year.

    SKA Square Kilometer Array


    SKA South Africa

    Raw data from studies conducted during the site selection process are already available on the SKA website, with a warning that “these files are very large indeed, and before you download them you should check whether your local file system will be able to handle them.”

    Barres sees the growth in open data as an opportunity for developing nations to participate in the global science community in new ways. He and a group of fellow astrophysicists helped develop something called the Open Universe Initiative “with the objective of stimulating a dramatic increase in the availability and usability of space science data, extending the potential of scientific discovery to new participants in all parts of the world and empowering global educational services.”

    The initiative, proposed by the government of Italy, is currently in the “implementation” phase within the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

    “I think that data is this proper entry point for science development in places that don’t have much science developed yet,” Barres says. “Because it’s there, it’s available, there is much more data than we can properly analyze.”

    There are barriers to implementing open data. One is the concept of ownership—a lab might not want to release data that they could use for another project or might worry about proper credit and attribution. Another is the natural human fear of being accused of being wrong or having your data used irresponsibly.

    But one of the biggest barriers, according to physics professor Jesse Thaler of MIT, is making the data understandable. “From the user perspective, every single aspect of using public data is challenging,” Thaler says.

    Think of a high school student’s chemistry lab notebook. A student might mark certain measurements in her data table with a star, to remind herself that she used a different instrument to take those measurements. Or she may use acronyms to name different samples. Unless she writes these schemes down, another student wouldn’t know the star’s significance and wouldn’t be able to know what the samples were.

    This has been a challenge for the CERN Open Data Portal, Cranmer says. “It’s very well curated, but it’s hard to use, because the data has got a lot of structure to it. It’s very complicated. You have to put additional effort to make it more usable.”

    And for a lot of scientists already working to manage gigantic projects, doing extra work to make their data useable to outside groups—well, “that’s just not mission critical,” he says. But Thaler adds that the CMS experiment has been very responsive to the needs of outside users.


    CERN CMS Higgs Event

    “Figuring out how to release data is challenging because you want to provide as much relevant information to outside users as possible,” Thaler says. “But it’s often not obvious, until outside users actually get their hands on the data, what information is relevant.”

    Still, there are many examples of open data benefiting astrophysics and particle physics. Members of the wider scientific community have discovered exoplanets through public data from the Kepler Space Telescope. When the Gaia spacecraft mapped the positions of 1.7 billion stars and released them as open data, scientists flocked to hackathons hosted by the Flatiron Institute to interpret it and produced about 20 papers’ worth of research.

    Open data policies have allowed for more accountability. The physics community was able to thoroughly check data from the first black hole collisions detected by LIGO and question a proposed dark-matter signal from the DAMA/LIBRA experiment.

    DAMA-LIBRA at Gran Sasso


    Gran Sasso LABORATORI NAZIONALI del GRAN SASSO, located in the Abruzzo region of central Italy

    Open data has also allowed for new collaborations and has nourished existing ones. Thaler, who is a theorist, says the dialogue between experimentalists and theorists has always been strong, but “open data is an opportunity to accelerate that conversation,” he says.

    For Cari Cesarotti, a graduate student who uses CMS Open Data for research in particle physics theory at Harvard, one of the most important benefits of open data is how it maximizes the scientific value of data experimentalists have to work very hard to obtain.

    “Colliders are really expensive and quite laborious to build and test,” she says. “So the more that we can squeeze out utility using the tools that we already have—to me, that’s the right thing to do, to try to get as much mileage as we possibly can out of the data set.”

    See the full article here .


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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 4:34 pm on April 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "International SKA science conference kicks off", , , , , , SKA   

    From SKA: “International SKA science conference kicks off” 

    SKA South Africa


    From SKA

    4.8.19

    Mathieu Isidro
    Deputy Communications & Outreach Manager
    SKA Organisation
    Email: m.isidro@skatelescope.org
    Phone: +44 (0) 7824 016 126

    Close to 300 astronomers from 20 countries have come together in Cheshire, UK for the international SKA science conference New Science enabled by New Techniques in the SKA era, looking at the breadth of science the SKA will enable and the latest science from current SKA-related facilities around the world. The meeting is organised by the SKA Organisation and hosted near the SKA Global Headquarters at Jodrell Bank.

    Three days are dedicated to talks covering recent results with the newly operational SKA precursor telescopes ASKAP and MeerKAT as well as MWA and HERA and SKA pathfinder facilities such as LOFAR [all images below]. Two days are also dedicated to discussions around the future key science projects with the SKA telescopes to allow group to form collaborations and prepare themselves.

    “We are delighted to receive our colleagues from around the globe here in the UK” said the Chair of the Scientific Organising Committee Evan Keane “We’re expecting to hear about exciting results from the SKA’s pathfinder and precursor facilities as well as to have crucial discussions on some of the future observing programmes, covering the whole breadth of science to be done with the SKA ”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    SKA ASKAP Pathefinder Telescope

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


    SKA Meerkat Telescope

    Murchison Widefield Array,SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)


    SKA Murchison Wide Field Array

    SKA Hera at SKA South Africa

    SKA Pathfinder – LOFAR location at Potsdam via Google Images

    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 9:18 am on February 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "SKA’s Infrastructure consortia complete their detailed design work for the SKA sites", , , , , , , SARAO, SKA   

    From SKA: “SKA’s Infrastructure consortia complete their detailed design work for the SKA sites” 


    From SKA

    25 February 2019

    1

    The two engineering consortia tasked with designing all the essential infrastructure for the SKA sites in Australia and South Africa have formally concluded their work, bringing to a close nearly five years of collaboration both within and between the consortia.

    Infrastructure Australia (INAU) and Infrastructure South Africa (INSA) were each led by institutions with great expertise in radio astronomy projects: Australia’s CSIRO, which designed, built and operates the SKA precursor telescope ASKAP at its Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)…

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)

    …and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), which designed, built and operates the SKA precursor telescope MeerKAT. Industry partners also played key roles in both consortia*, while the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 awarded an additional €5M to conduct further work at both sites and at the SKA Global Headquarters in the UK.

    SKA Meerkat telescope, South African design


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

    The consortia were responsible for designing everything required to be able to deploy and operate the SKA in its two host countries, from roads, buildings, power, to RFI shielding, water and sanitation. Both CSIRO and SARAO developed valuable expertise from delivering the two precursor telescopes, which they applied to their work designing the SKA’s site infrastructure.

    “This is the culmination of many years of development on both sites in preparation for the start of construction of the SKA,” says Gary Davis, the SKA’s Head of Operations Planning and chair of the review panel. “Both consortia have done a stellar job in collaboration with one another to design the crucial infrastructure that’ll support the SKA.”

    A major goal of the two consortia was to collaborate with each other in order to develop a common engineering approach, share knowledge and provide lessons learnt through the design and delivery of SKA precursors.

    “From the start we developed what we called the GIG, the good ideas group” says Ant Schinckel, Infrastructure Australia’s Consortium Lead. “Our engineers would continuously engage with each other to discuss issues in both countries and find common solutions that could be applied to both sites” complements Tracy Cheetham, Infrastructure South Africa’s Consortium Lead.

    “I’d like to thank both teams for their excellent work” said Martin Austin, the SKA’s Infrastructure Project Manager “The quality of the design and their approach to safety means that we can now carry this work forward with a high degree of confidence, supported by both CSIRO and SARAO and their industry partners.”

    INAU and INSA formed part of a global effort by 12 international engineering consortia, representing 500 engineers and scientists in 20 countries. Nine of the consortia focused on the SKA’s core elements, while three others were tasked with developing advanced instrumentation.

    In 2018 and 2019 the nine consortia are having their Critical Design Reviews (CDRs), during which the proposed design must meet the project’s tough engineering requirements to be approved, before a construction proposal for the SKA can be developed.

    In June and July 2018, both infrastructure consortia had successful CDRs and subsequently made the final refinements to their designs. With that work complete the consortia now formally disband, although the SKA will continue to work closely with former members in the months ahead as the overall System CDR approaches, to ensure that the infrastructure design aligns with all of the other components.

    *Infrastructure Australia consortium members included the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Aurecon Australia and Rider Levett Bucknall.

    Infrastructure South Africa consortium members included the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), Aurecon South Africa and HHO Africa.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    SKA ASKAP Pathefinder Telescope

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


    SKA Meerkat Telescope

    Murchison Widefield Array,SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)


    SKA Murchison Wide Field Array
    About SKA

    The Square Kilometre Arraywill 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 4:26 pm on February 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Canadian-led Central Signal Processor consortium successfully concludes SKA design work, , NRC- National Research Council of Canada, , SKA, The consortium was given a full pass by the review panel during the CSP Critical Design Review (CDR) in September the first SKA engineering consortium to receive this result, The CSP includes the Pulsar Search and Timing sub-elements which enable astronomers to detect and characterise pulsars and fast transients   

    From SKA: “Canadian-led Central Signal Processor consortium successfully concludes SKA design work” 


    From SKA

    1
    Members of the Central Signal Processor consortium at SKA Global Headquarters during the Critical Design Review in September 2018 (Credit: SKA Organisation)

    20 February 2019

    The international Central Signal Processor (CSP) consortium has concluded its design work on the SKA, marking the end of five years’ work comprised of 11 signatory members from 8 countries with more than 10 additional participating organisations.

    The consortium, led by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC)*, has designed the elements that will together form the “processing heart” of the SKA. The CSP is the first stage of processing for the masses of digitised astronomical signals collected by the telescope’s receivers. It’s where the correlation and beamforming takes place to make sense of the jumble of signals, before the data is sent onwards to the Science Data Processor. At that stage, the data is ready to be turned into detailed astronomical images of the sky.

    The CSP includes the Pulsar Search and Timing sub-elements, which enable astronomers to detect and characterise pulsars and fast transients. This will facilitate the most comprehensive and ambitious survey yet to detect all pulsars in our own galaxy as well as the first extragalactic pulsars. The Pulsar Search sub-element is based on a hybrid architecture of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) computing boards. The design team was led by the University of Manchester (UK), University of Oxford (UK) and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (Germany) supported by input from INAF (Italy), New Zealand Alliance, STFC ATC Edinburgh (UK), and ASTRON (the Netherlands). The Pulsar Timing sub-element is based on GPUs. The design team consisted of participants from Swinburne University of Technology (Australia) and the New Zealand Alliance.

    2
    Low CBF liquid-cooled Perentie Gemini Processing Board (left), Mid CBF Air-cooled TALON-DX Processing Board (right).

    As part of their work, the consortium designed the FPGA computing boards that will perform correlation and beamforming (CBF) on the signals from the SKA. The CBF for the SKA-mid telescope -to be located in South Africa- is based on Intel FPGA technology and was led by the NRC with support from MDA, a Maxar Technologies company, AUT University (New Zealand), and INAF. The CBF for the SKA-low telescope -to be located in Australia- is based on Xilinx technology, was led by CSIRO with support from ASTRON and AUT University. Hundreds of these boards are required to meet the demanding processing requirements.

    The Local Monitoring and Control sub-element was led by the NRC with contributions from MDA, INAF, and NCRA (India).

    The consortium was given a full pass by the review panel during the CSP Critical Design Review (CDR) in September, the first SKA engineering consortium to receive this result. With very few actions required following the review, the consortium has now concluded its work.

    “This is an extremely complex system – it has to process as many bits every 15 seconds as all the bits that are flowing through the global internet today,” said Consortium Lead Luc Simard of the NRC. “That’s a huge processing challenge at a site with limited electrical power and cooling power, and we have to fit a lot of hardware in a tight, restricted environment. To meet this challenge we needed a team of the highest quality – we have the best of the best and working with them has been a real honour. I’m really thankful for all their work.”

    The consortium was formed in late 2013 as one of 12 international engineering consortia tasked with designing the SKA, a global effort representing 500 engineers in 20 countries. Nine consortia focused on core elements, while three developed advanced instrumentation for the telescope. The nine consortia are now at CDR stage, where an expert panel examines each design proposal against the SKA’s stringent requirements.

    Now that its work is complete the consortium formally disbands, although the SKA Organisation will work closely with participating countries to prepare for the overall System CDR and the development of the SKA construction proposal.

    “What made the design challenge so difficult are the exacting requirements for a telescope to deliver SKA telescope transformational science,” said Philip Gibbs, SKA Organisation Project Manager for CSP. “The system has to meet observing requirements that may include imaging, as well as VLBI, and pulsar search and timing, all at the same time. As well as the power and space issues on site, we’ve naturally also been constrained by the cost involved in providing a solution.”

    “To reach this point is a testament to the tremendous effort of all the institutions involved in designing CSP – my heartfelt thanks go to them. We look forward to continued collaboration as we progress down the road towards construction of the SKA.”

    *The CSP Consortium Project Management Office was led by a collaboration between the NRC and MDA, a contracted industry partner. Active consortium members (signatories) at the conclusion of the work included: Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) (Australia), Swinburne University of Technology (Australia), Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (Germany), National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) (Italy), New Zealand Alliance (AUT University, Massey University, University of Auckland, Compucon New Zealand and Open Parallel Ltd.), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) (UK), University of Manchester (UK), and University of Oxford (UK).

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    SKA ASKAP Pathefinder Telescope

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


    SKA Meerkat Telescope

    Murchison Widefield Array,SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)


    SKA Murchison Wide Field Array
    About SKA

    The Square Kilometre Arraywill 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 12:20 pm on November 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , SKA   

    From SKA: “Canada’s CHIME telescope joins SKA pathfinder family” 


    From SKA

    21 November 2018

    CHIME Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment -A partnership between the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, McGill University, Yale and the National Research Council of Canada, at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in British Columbia, at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in British Columbia

    Great news: the SKA pathfinder family has a new member! We welcome CHIME, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment 🇨🇦, to the group of facilities carrying out SKA-related science and technology studies around the world. Astronomers are using the signals CHIME collects to measure the expansion history of the Universe over a period of 4 billion years of cosmic time! CHIME is also expected to find thousands of new Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) – a phenomenon consisting of short bursts of radio waves from far outside our Milky Way galaxy, but of unknown origin.

    “CHIME’s observations will set the scene for the next generation of experiments with the SKA, which will be able to see even further back into the history of the Universe, observing hydrogen from a time when the Universe was less than a billion years old,” says Canadian SKA Science Director Prof. Bryan Gaensler.

    The CHIME project is co-led by the @universityofbc, @McGillUniversity, @UniversityToronto and the National Research Council of Canada. Find out more on our website: http://skatel.org/CHIME-SKA-pathfinder_mXn0S

    Canada’s largest radio telescope, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), has been officially granted Square Kilometre Array (SKA) pathfinder status.

    SKA pathfinders and precursors are facilities all over the world involved in SKA-related science and technology studies, and provide vital input for the teams developing the SKA. While precursor telescopes are located at the future SKA sites, pathfinders are dotted around the globe.

    Located at the National Research Council of Canada’s Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) in British Columbia, CHIME is an unusual telescope with no moving parts and a huge field of view, which stretches almost from the northern to the southern horizon.

    Astronomers are using the signals it collects to measure the expansion history of the Universe over a period of 4 billion years of cosmic time, by creating a 3D map of its most abundant element: hydrogen. Studying the Universe’s expansion in detail may provide evidence of what is causing its acceleration, one possible candidate being the mysterious Dark Energy.

    CHIME is also ideal for other SKA-related studies, including discovering large numbers of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) – a phenomenon consisting of short bursts of radio waves from far outside our Milky Way galaxy, but of unknown origin – and monitoring Galactic radio pulsars.

    “CHIME’s observations will set the scene for the next generation of experiments with the SKA, which will be able to see even further back into the history of the Universe, observing hydrogen from a time when the Universe was less than a billion years old,” said Canadian SKA Science Director Prof. Bryan Gaensler.

    “Canada has a rich history in radio astronomy, and CHIME has continued this tradition by bringing together scientists and engineers from across the country. CHIME has also proven to be a fantastic platform for training young students and postdocs on the relevant technologies. These are the next generation of scientists who will be keen to use the SKA in the next decade and beyond,” Prof. Gaensler added.

    “With CHIME we are performing exciting measurements of cosmology and FRBs which will help to frame the questions that the SKA is being designed to address,” said Prof. Mark Halpern from the University of British Columbia, which co-leads the project with McGill University, the University of Toronto and the National Research Council of Canada.

    “We expect to find thousands of new FRBs, completely transforming this field, so what we learn from CHIME will be hugely valuable when planning future observations with the SKA.”

    CHIME is a relatively new facility, achieving first light in September 2017. It brings the number of SKA pathfinders to 15, in addition to the four SKA precursor facilities in South Africa and Australia.

    Read more on SKA precursors and pathfinders

    Read more about the CHIME

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    SKA ASKAP Pathefinder Telescope

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


    SKA Meerkat Telescope

    Murchison Widefield Array,SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)


    SKA Murchison Wide Field Array
    About SKA

    The Square Kilometre Arraywill 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 12:05 pm on November 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , SKA   

    From SKA: “SKA joins research data revolution through ESCAPE project” 


    From SKA

    20 November 2018

    1
    The SKA was identified as a landmark project in the European Commission’s infrastructure roadmap, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) in 2016. Above are the physical science ESFRI projects in astronomy, astroparticle and particle physics that form the focus of the ESCAPE cluster (clockwise from top left: ELT, CTA, FAIR, KM3NeT, EST, HL-LHC, SKA).

    2
    ESCAPE brings together 31 partner projects and institutions.

    The SKA has joined 30 fellow research infrastructures to collaborate on a new science data initiative, which forms part of efforts to create a European cloud for scientific research.

    Launched today, ESCAPE (The European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle Physics ESFRI Research Infrastructures) is supported by €16 million of funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework with the purpose of finding solutions to shared data challenges.

    “For the SKA, our participation in ESCAPE will focus on developing technology and processes that will inform the global network of SKA Regional Centres (SRCs),” says Dr Antonio Chrysostomou, SKA Organisation Head of Science Operations Planning. SRCs will be hubs spread around the world which will enable researchers to access SKA science data products.

    “We want the SKA community to have the same experience wherever they are in the world, so prototyping around how to share, access and visualize data, and how the process can then be scaled up to a global level, will provide important lessons for us.”

    ESCAPE funding will enable SKA Organisation to bring on board personnel to focus on the project’s work packages relating to developing a science platform for data sharing, interoperability and communication using Virtual Observatory protocols, software deployment and user interfaces.

    ESCAPE involves 31 partners at the cutting edge of research in astronomy and particle physics, including the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIV-ERIC), ASTRON, Istituto Nazionale d’Astrofisica (INAF), the European Southern Observatory (ESO), and CERN, with the project being led by IN2P3, the French National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics.

    Cherenkov Telescope Array, http://www.isdc.unige.ch/cta/ at Cerro Paranal, located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile on Cerro Paranal at 2,635 m (8,645 ft) altitude, 120 km (70 mi) south of Antofagasta; and at at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma, Spain searches for cosmic rays

    European VLBI


    SKA LOFAR core (“superterp”) near Exloo, Netherlands


    INAF Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, a 3.58-meter Italian telescope, located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain Altitude 2,396 m (7,861 ft).

    “It is the first time that many of the greatest European scientific facilities in physics and astronomy have combined forces to make their data and software interoperable and open, committing to make the European Science Cloud a reality,” says IN2P3’s Dr Giovanni Lamanna, Principal Investigator of ESCAPE. “This is an important milestone for European scientific research.”

    The European Open Science Cloud project (EOSC) project aims to facilitate universal access to scientific data through a single online platform, allowing both professional researchers and the general public to re-use data produced by other scientists. It is an effort to harness the full potential of the vast amounts of data that will be created by next-generation facilities like the SKA.

    “The scope of the SKA, both in terms of its global footprint and its scientific challenge, demands a paradigm shift in approach if its potential benefits are to be fully realised,” adds Dr Chrysostomou. “EOSC will help to promote a culture of accessibility and rigour that can only benefit astronomy in this multi-wavelength, ‘multi-messenger’ era.”

    Read the official ESCAPE press release here.

    See the full article here .

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    SKA ASKAP Pathefinder Telescope

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


    SKA Meerkat Telescope

    Murchison Widefield Array,SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)


    SKA Murchison Wide Field Array
    About SKA

    The Square Kilometre Arraywill 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 4:15 pm on September 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , SKA,   

    From Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy Astron: “This morning party at ASTRON-Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy in westerbork (actually hooghalen)” 

    ASTRON bloc

    From Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy Astron

    Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, an aperture synthesis interferometer near World War II Nazi detention and transit camp Westerbork, north of the village of Westerbork, Midden-Drenthe, in the northeastern Netherlands

    The radio telescope has existed for 50 years and 12 out of 14 devices are equipped with new technique that has increased the range 37 times! This new project is called Apertif. In addition to lofar and ska a new development that teaches us even more from the universe and that with thr Dutch province of Drenthe as the center of the world!!

    Astron Lofar radio telescope

    ASTRON LOFAR Map

    SKA LOFAR core (“superterp”) near Exloo, Netherlands

    To me the honor apertif officially open, following the welcome of director professor Carole Jackson.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    ASTRON-Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope
    Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT)

    ASTRON was founded in 1949, as the Foundation for Radio radiation from the Sun and Milky Way (SRZM). Its original charge was to develop and operate radio telescopes, the first being systems using surplus wartime radar dishes. The organisation has grown from twenty employees in the early 1960’s to about 180 staff members today.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:36 pm on July 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , SKA   

    From SKA: “SKA-Athena Synergy White Paper released” 


    From SKA

    1
    The SKA-Athena Synergy White Paper details areas in which the two facilities can be complementary to each other

    25 July 2018

    A new white paper has been published detailing synergies between the SKA and the European Space Agency’s future Athena telescope.

    ESA/Athena spacecraft depiction

    The SKA-Athena Synergy White Paper highlights the areas of science where combining data gathered by the two facilities would provide unique insights that would not be available with data from the individual telescopes themselves.

    Athena (Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics) will be a space-based X-ray telescope that aims to investigate the “Hot and Energetic Universe” scientific theme, and it is provisionally due to be launched in the early 2030s – making it an ideal contemporary instrument to the SKA. It is one of a number of facilities with which the SKA is exploring possible synergies, with the goal of supporting the wider astronomy community to make discoveries through collaborations across the electromagnetic spectrum.

    The white paper was authored by the SKA-Athena Synergy Team, a group of experts based at four leading research organisations: Dr Rossella Cassano (INAF-Istituto di Radioastronomia, Italy), Dr Rob Fender (University of Oxford, UK), Dr Chiara Ferrari (Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, France) and Dr Andrea Merloni (Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Germany), based on contributions from 25 scientists in eleven different countries.

    “While there are many areas of synergy, one of the most exciting is the pin-pointing of the very first generation of stars to have been born in the Universe,” said SKA Organisation Science Director Dr Robert Braun. “The SKA should allow detection of the ionised bubbles surrounding these stars as cavities within the neutral hydrogen emission at the relevant epoch, while Athena would permit direct detection of the ionising sources themselves.”

    Another important area is in understanding the growth and evolution of super-massive black holes, like the one at the centre of our own Milky Way Galaxy. “The two-pronged radio/X-ray approach is particularly well-matched to the study these enigmatic objects that are found to reside at the centre of most major galaxies,” Dr Braun added. “While they tend to be particularly bright in the X-ray and radio bands, they tend to be almost invisible in the intervening portions of the electromagnetic spectrum due to the extreme gravitational forces and very high temperatures.”

    Next year the SKA Organisation Global Headquarters at Jodrell Bank in the UK will host the SKA General Science Meeting, a major gathering of the international science community interested in the project. Many of the synergies outlined in the white paper will be further discussed there.

    To read the full SKA-Athena Synergy White Paper, download a PDF copy here.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    SKA ASKAP Pathefinder Telescope

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


    SKA Meerkat Telescope

    Murchison Widefield Array,SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)


    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 2:42 pm on June 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ASKAP, , , , , , , , SKA   

    From AAAS: “New radio telescope in South Africa will study galaxy formation” 

    AAAS

    From AAAS

    Jun. 19, 2018
    Daniel Clery

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

    Today, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a continent-spanning radio astronomy project, announced that Spain has come on board as the collaboration’s 11th member. That boost will help the sometimes-troubled project as, over the next year or so, it forms an international treaty organization and negotiates funding to start construction. Meanwhile, on the wide-open plains of the Karoo, a semiarid desert northeast of Cape Town, South Africa, part of the telescope is already in place in the shape of the newly completed MeerKAT, the largest and most powerful radio telescope in the Southern Hemisphere.

    The last of 64 13.5-meter dishes was installed late last year, and next month South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will officially open the facility. Spread across 8 kilometers, the dishes have a collecting area similar to that of the great workhorse of astrophysics, the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) near Socorro, New Mexico.

    NRAO/Karl V Jansky VLA, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA, at an elevation of 6970 ft (2124 m)

    But with new hardware designs and a powerful supercomputer to process data, the newcomer could have an edge on its 40-year-old northern cousin.

    “For certain studies, it will be the best” in the world, says Fernando Camilo, chief scientist of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory in Cape Town, which operates MeerKAT. Sensitive across a wide swath of the radio spectrum, MeerKAT can study how hydrogen gas moves into galaxies to fuel star formation. With little experience, South Africa has “a major fantastic achievement,” says Heino Falcke of Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

    MeerKAT, which stands for Karoo Array Telescope along with the Afrikaans word for “more,” is one of several precursor instruments for the SKA. . The first phase of the SKA could begin in 2020 at a cost of €798 million. It would add another 133 dishes to MeerKAT, extending it across 150 kilometers, and place 130,000 smaller radio antennas across Australia—but only if member governments agree to fully fund the work. Months of delicate negotiations lie ahead. “In every country, people are having that discussion on what funding is available,” Falcke says.

    With MeerKAT’s 64 dishes now in place, engineers are learning how to process the data they gather. In a technique called interferometry, computers correlate the signals from pairs of dishes to build a much sharper image than a single dish could produce. For early science campaigns last year, 16 dishes were correlated. In March, the new supercomputer came online, and the team hopes to be fully operational by early next year. “It’s going to be a challenge,” Camilo says.

    MeerKAT’s dishes are smaller than the VLA’s, but having more of them puts it in “a sweet spot of sensitivity and resolution,” Camilo says. Its dishes are split into a densely packed core, which boosts sensitivity, and widely dispersed arms, which increase resolution. The VLA can opt for sensitivity or resolution, but not both at once—and only after the slow process of moving its 27 dishes into a different configuration.

    The combination makes MeerKAT ideal for mapping hydrogen, the fuel of star and galaxy formation. Because of a spontaneous transition in the atoms of neutral hydrogen, the gas constantly emits microwaves with a wavelength of 21 centimeters. Stretched to radio frequencies by the expansion of the universe, these photons land in the telescope’s main frequency band. It should have the sensitivity to map the faint signal to greater distances than before, and the resolution to see the gas moving in and around galaxies.

    MeerKAT will also watch for pulsars, dense and rapidly spinning stellar remnants. Their metronomic radio wave pulses serve as precise clocks that help astronomers study gravity in extreme conditions. “By finding new and exotic pulsars, MeerKAT can provide tests of physics,” says Philip Best of the University of Edinburgh. Falcke wants to get a better look at a highly magnetized pulsar discovered in 2013. He hopes it will shed light on the gravitational effects of the leviathan it orbits: the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

    Other SKA precursors are taking shape. The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia is testing a novel survey technology with its 36 12-meter dishes that could be used in a future phase of the SKA.

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

    Whereas a conventional radio dish has a single-element detector—the equivalent of a single pixel—the ASKAP’s detectors have 188 elements, which should help it quickly map galaxies across large areas of the sky.

    Nearby is the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), an array of 2048 antennas, each about a meter across, that look like metallic spiders.

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)

    Sensitive to lower frequencies than MeerKAT, the MWA can pick up the neutral hydrogen signal from as far back as 500 million years after the big bang, when the first stars and galaxies were lighting up the universe. Astronomers have been chasing the faint signal for years, and earlier this year, one group reported a tentative detection. “We’re really curious to see if it can be replicated,” says MWA Director Melanie Johnston-Hollitt of Curtin University in Perth, Australia.

    If the MWA doesn’t deliver a verdict, the SKA, with 130,000 similar antennas, almost certainly will. Although the MWA may detect the universe lighting up, the SKA intends to map out where it happened.

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of all people.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

     
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