ASKAP (Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder) is a new radio-telescope being constructed in Australia. It is fully funded, and construction has already started. It differs from previous radio-telescopes in several important respects, including
- a phased-array feed which will enable efficient surveys of large areas of the sky,
- the way in which it will be operated, with users interacting with it primarily through the data archive rather than hands-on operation of the telescope.
Access to the telescope is open to all users, regardless of nationality or institution. Science operations are expected to commence in 2012. Details may be found on http://www.atnf.csiro.au/projects/askap/
- The final system will have 36 dishes, each 12 m diameter, operational by 2012 Q4
- Each antenna equipped with a 10 x 10 x 2pol FPA mounted at the prime focus
- System temperature (Tsys) of 35 K
- Frequency range 0.7 – 1.8 GHz
- Instantaneous bandwidth 300 MHz
- At least 30 independent beams giving a total field of view of 30 sq deg over the entire frequency range
- Maximum baseline 6 km
- Full cross-correlation of all antennas
- Correlator located at the ASKAP site, with a high-bandwidth fibre taking correlated data to Geraldton for archiving and processing.