ASKAP demonstrates widefield continuum and polarisation capabilities

The full field produced during the demonstration. Credit: CSIRO

An image of the entire area from the observation.
Credit: CSIRO.
Click on the above for more detail.

3 December 2014

Hot on the heels of the success at the Australian Innovation Challenge Awards, the ASKAP Commissioning and Early Science team has successfully demonstrated widefield continuum imaging with the ASKAP phased array feed (PAF) receivers installed on the Boolardy Engineering Test Array (BETA).

BETA represents the six 'first generation' ASKAP PAF receiver systems already installed on ASKAP antennas at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, along with associated digital systems, beamformer and hardware correlator.

Commissioning activities have already demonstrated BETA to be a functioning telescope, producing early science results that demonstrate the unique capabilities of ASKAP design.

As part of the widefield continuum and polarisation capability demonstration, a full Stokes image of the region in the southern constellation Tucana, made over the frequency 700–1000 MHz, will be made available to those users interested in accessing the data.

Observations were made in September, using a square beam footprint and two pointings for each observation. The final image covers an area of approximately 31 square degrees with image noise over most of that area at approximately 0.45 mJy/beam.

Images of the area have been made for Stokes quantities I, Q, U and V. While the data are not polarimetrically calibrated, they demonstrate that all polarisation products are correlated and passed through the system software.

The raw data are held at the iVEC Pawsey Centre in Perth, on storage attached to the ASKAP supercomputer, also known as Galaxy.

Data are in the form of MeasurementSet files, readable by both ASKAPsoft and casa.

Click here for more information on how to access the data, as well as details on the observation and points of note regarding the techniques used.

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