Instrument

Photo: Antenna Tile

MWA antenna tile consisting of 16 cross dipoles

Photo: Antenna Tile

35 kVA trailer-mounted, single-phase diesel generator, providing power for the MWA site infrastructure during operation of a 32 tile development system.

 

Photo: Antenna Tile

MWA temporary infrastructure at Boolardy, Western Australia

The MWA will consist of 2048 dual-polarization dipole antennas optimized for the 80-300 MHz frequency range, arranged as 128 "tiles", each a 4x4 array of dipoles. An illustration of the planned array deployment is shown above together with a photograph of one of the tiles.

The array will have no moving parts, and all telescope functions including pointing will be performed by electronic manipulation of dipole signals, each of which contains information from ~4 steradians of sky centered on the zenith. Each tile will perform an analog beamforming operation, narrowing the field of view to a fully steerable ~25 degrees at 150 MHz.

The majority of the tiles (112) will be scattered across a roughly 1.5 km core region, forming an array with very high imaging quality, and a field of view of several hundred square degrees at a resolution of several arcminutes. The remaining 16 tiles will be placed at locations outside the core, yielding baseline distances of about 3 km to allow higher angular resolution for solar burst measurements.

FPGA-based massively parallel digital hardware will select and condition a 32 MHz instantaneous bandwidth, and perform cross-correlation and digital array beamforming. Software for array calibration, as well as to support specific scientific goals, will be developed. Summaries of the MWA specifications and technical design are provided in this section. Please use the navigational aids on the left to explore this site further.



An aerial photo of a 32 tile MWA prototype at Boolardy station, Western Australia. The full deployment will cover an area 5 times larger and comprise four times as many antenna tiles as shown here.