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A world-leading telescope in its own right, our new ASKAP radio telescope is also allowing us to test technologies for the much larger Square Kilometre Array.
Made up of 36 antennas working together as a single instrument, our newest radio telescope – the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, or ASKAP – will capture radio images of the sky in more detail and faster than ever before. It will allow astronomers to answer fundamental questions about our Universe, such as the nature of cosmic magnetism and the evolution and formation of galaxies.
Three of the 36 antennas that make up CSIRO's ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia.
ASKAP is located at the CSIRO-run Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in the Mid West region of Western Australia. The observatory is remarkably ‘quiet’: it is relatively free of human-generated radio signals that would otherwise interfere with weak radio waves from space. Construction began in early 2010, and all 36 antennas and site infrastructure were completed in mid-2012. Installation of ASKAP’s complex receivers and electronic systems, as well as telescope commissioning, is currently underway.
Processing of the vast amounts of data generated by ASKAP is done at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth.
The design of ASKAP is unique among radio telescopes:
These attributes mean that the telescope will survey large areas of sky with unprecedented sensitivity and speed.
Industry has played a crucial role in the development of ASKAP. For example, industry collaborations enabled significant progress on ASKAP’s computing architecture, low-noise amplifier design, and geo-exchange cooling systems.
As well as carrying out cutting-edge science in its own right, ASKAP is allowing us to test revolutionary new technologies for the Square Kilometre Array – an international project to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope.
ASKAP's home, the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, is also located in the same region as the Square Kilometre Array telescope infrastructure in Australia is to be centred. In its first phase, this infrastructure will include thousands of low-frequency dipole antennas in what is called an aperture array.
We acknowledge the Wajarri Yamatji people as the traditional owners of the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory site.
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Last updated: Last updated: 30 March 2015
Printed from: Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (http://csiroaucd1-cdc.it.csiro.au/en/Research/Facilities/ATNF/ASKAP)