[ASA] Extended capabilities for the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) Workshop 15th-16th October 2014

Steven Tingay s.tingay at curtin.edu.au
Wed Jul 2 15:55:01 AEST 2014

Extended capabilities for the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA)

*A Community workshop, co-sponsored by Astronomy Australia Limited, Curtin
University and CAASTRO*
15th - 16th October 2014, CAASTRO Headquarters, 44-70 Rosehill Street

*Registration is now open*
Registration for the meeting is free, supported by the sponsors, and
includes morning and afternoon teas, lunch and a workshop dinner on the
evening of Wednesday 15th October.  The dinner will be held at Rubyos, King
Street Newtown.  Please register for catering purposes.  The registration
deadline is *Wednesday October 1st*.  The registration form includes the
ability to propose to make a presentation at the workshop.

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a new low frequency interferometric
radio telescope located at CSIRO's superb radio quiet Murchison
Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Murchison region of Western
Australia.  The MWA is the only low frequency Precursor for the Square
Kilometre Array (SKA) and is the first of the three SKA Precursors to be
fully operational for science.  The MWA has been operational since July

A consortium of 13 partner institutions from four countries (Australia,
USA, India, and New Zealand) has financed the development, construction,
commissioning, and operations of the facility.  The MWA consortium members,
and a range of other groups, are now exploiting the instrument for early
science, under the MWA Open Skies time allocation policy.  Key science for
the MWA ranges from the search for redshifted HI signals from the Epoch of
Reionisation, to wide-field searches for transient and variable objects
(including pulsars and Fast Radio Bursts), to wide-field Galactic and
extra-galactic surveys, to solar and heliospheric science.

As a next-generation radio telescope, the MWA is training a new generation
of radio astronomers, conversant in the Big Data aspects of research that
will be fundamental in the era of the SKA.  High volume data streams from
the MWA terminate at the new $80m Pawsey supercomputing centre in Perth,
where MWA users have access to the data in the form of a 9 PB archive.
Moreover, the MWA is playing a central role in the international SKA
pre-construction program, hosting low frequency verification systems for
the SKA.

Overall, the MWA has been one of the significant recent successes of
Australian astronomy, flagged in the last Decadal Plan and delivered within
that decade.

The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the possibilities for future
expansion or upgrade of the MWA in order to leverage the built value of the
instrument and the investment to date to support enhanced scientific
productivity.  A number of upgrade and extension options are available at
relatively modest cost.  These options will be outlined at the workshop,
along with scientific motivations for the extensions/upgrades.  The
workshop will provide an opportunity for interested researchers to present
their own ideas regarding MWA upgrades/extensions and for the community to
discuss possible priorities.

The outcomes of the workshop will be used to inform a detailed project plan
that sets out an extension/upgrade path that could be realised within a two
year timeframe.  A second similar workshop will be held in December 2014 in
Tempe, Arizona, to collect input from the non-Australian MWA partners
(although the October workshop is open to anyone prepared to travel).

Remote access to the workshop in the form of videoconferencing or
teleconferencing will be investigated, depending on the demand.

Further background information regarding the MWA can be found in the MWA
system description paper (Tingay et al. 2013, PASA, 30,7) and the MWA
science program description paper (Bowman et al. 2013, PASA, 30, 31), as
well as on the MWA web pages: http://www.mwatelescope.org

Accommodation in Redfern: Some local hotels include:

   - UniLodge, Broadway <http://www.unilodge.com.au/>
   - Mecure Sydney, near central station <http://www.mercuresydney.com.au/>
   - Sydney Central YHA
   - Rydges Sydney Central
   - Adnia Apartments, Chippendale

Any questions regarding the workshop can be directed to the MWA Director,
Prof. Steven Tingay (s.tingay at curtin.edu.au)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Professor Steven Tingay

Premier's Fellow

Deputy Director

Deputy Director
Western Australian Radio Astronomy Centre of Excellence

Director, Science and Operations
Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy

Department of Imaging and Applied Physics
Curtin University of Technology
Bentley, Western Australia

Street address:
Brodie Hall building
1 Turner Ave
Technology Park
Bentley 6102
Western Australia

Email:  s.tingay at ivec.org OR s.tingay at curtin.edu.au

WWW: http://astronomy.curtin.edu.au

Phone: +61 (0)8 9266 3516

Mobile: +61 (0)425 771 856
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