First image made with ASKAP’s newest receivers

The first image created with the Mk II phased array feeds. Credit: CSIRO

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The Mk II phased array feeds. Credit: CSIRO

2 September 2015

Just a week after the ASKAP team achieved phase closure with the first three Mk II phased array feed (PAF) receivers installed on ASKAP antennas at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, the first image has been produced with the system.

The image is of radio source PKS B1934-638, a source often used by the commissioning team to put the ASKAP receiver systems through its paces. The image was made from a single port, 48 MHz bandwidth, and centred at 939.5 MHz.

“This is an outstanding result”, says ASKAP Project Director Ant Schinckel, “Especially to be getting images of this quality, this early, in the process with the Mk II systems.”

Achieving this result so quickly after phase closure reflects the efforts of the full team – not just the observers who made the image, but every person working on each individual aspect of the system to get it to this level – each part played in the design, build, assembly, installation, testing and debugging of the systems.

The success of the Mk II systems is also built on the shoulders of the lessons learned with the Mk I PAFs already producing initial science results at the MRO.

“The huge leaps in engineering we’ve made with the Mk I receivers has been pivotal in the development of our chequerboard PAFs,” continues Ant, “The process of learning how to use PAFs for radio astronomy continues to show what an incredible telescope ASKAP is going to be.”

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