11 August 2016 The Australian SKA Pathfinder: project update and initial operations
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Abstract
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) will be the fastest dedicated cm-wave survey telescope, and will consist of 36 12-meter 3-axis antennas, each with a large chequerboard phased array feed (PAF) receiver operating between 0.7 and 1.8 GHz, and digital beamforming prior to correlation. The large raw data rates involved (~100 Tb/sec), and the need to do pipeline processing, has led to the antenna incorporating a third axis to fix the parallactic angle with respect to the entire optical system (blockages and phased array feed). It also results in innovative technical solutions to the data transport and processing issues. ASKAP is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO), a new observatory developed for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), 315 kilometres north-east of Geraldton, Western Australia. The MRO also hosts the SKA low frequency pathfinder instrument, the Murchison Widefield Array and will host the initial low frequency instrument of the SKA, SKA1-Low. Commissioning of ASKAP using six antennas equipped with first-generation PAFs is now complete and installation of second-generation PAFs and digital systems is underway. In this paper we review technical progress and commissioning to date, and refer the reader to relevant technical and scientific publications.
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Antony E. T. Schinckel, Antony E. T. Schinckel, Douglas C.-J. Bock, Douglas C.-J. Bock, } "The Australian SKA Pathfinder: project update and initial operations", Proc. SPIE 9906, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI, 99062A (11 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233920; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233920
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