Today marks the start of the ASKAP 2016 conference – a chance for the ASKAP user community to come together and plan key aspects of the ASKAP Early Science program, share cutting-edge results and discuss future strategies for observing and data sharing in large astronomical surveys.
ASKAP Project Scientist Lisa Harvey-Smith is looking forward to a week of productive discussions.
“ASKAP 2016 will allow our Survey Science Teams to share their plans for Early Science and consider collaboration opportunities not only across the Projects, but complementary surveys at other wavelengths as well,” said Lisa.
“By working together we can also tackle one of the most interesting technical challenges for ASKAP and other SKA precursors, namely exploitation and visualisation of large data sets.”
The Early Science program will commence once an array of twelve ASKAP antennas fitted with the second generation phased array feed (PAF) receivers have been commissioned and verified. Observations with this telescope – known as ASKAP-12 – will be carried out in parallel with the further deployment of the Mk II PAFs required for the full ASKAP telescope.
The Mk II is the result of ASKAP Design Enhancement – a program to increase efficiency and performance of the receivers, and improve manufacturability through the use of new technologies and assembly techniques.
ASKAP Early Science intends to take advantage of the significant improvements in receiver performance and produce scientifically useful data for maximum impact, as well as:
Demonstrate the unique capabilities and features of ASKAP
Provide data sets to the astronomy community to facilitate the development of analysis and interpretation techniques
Provide a mechanism for feedback to CSIRO on the performance and characteristics of the ASKAP system and opportunities for improvement.
Follow along throughout the week on social media using #ASKAP2016.