The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA)

Abstract:

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a low-frequency radio telescope operating between 80 and 300 MHz.  It is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia, the planned site of the future Square Kilometre Array.  The international team of scientists on the MWA is pursuing a number of projects, including studies of the Milky Way and other galaxies, searches for pulsing and exploding stellar objects, and the study of space weather.  Researchers at Brown are primarily involved in the search for signals from intergalactic hydrogen gas in the early Universe, which contains clues as to the nature of the first stars and galaxies.  The first detection of this faint signal will require hundreds of hours of data from the instrument and an all-new custom analysis software infrastructure for precision control of systematic errors.  Advances in our ability to calibrate the telescope, model other radio emissions from the sky, and to use advanced statistical techniques on very large data sets all play a role in advancing this program of research.

Research Leads:

Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, Professor of Science and Engineering at Curtin University

Jonathan Pober, Assistant Professor of Physics at Brown University

Funding Sources

Australian Government, National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy

United States National Science Foundation

*The Wajarri Yamatji people are the traditional owners of the Observatory site.