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The Australia Telescope Compact Array Broad-band Backend: description and first results


Wilson, WE and Ferris, RH and Axtens, P and Brown, A and Davis, E and Hampson, G and Leach, M and Roberts, P and Saunders, S and Koribalski, BS and Caswell, JL and Lenc, E and Stevens, J and Voronkov, MA and Wieringa, MH and Brooks, K and Edwards, PG and Ekers, RD and Emonts, B and Hindson, L and Johnston, S and Maddison, ST and Mahony, EK and Malu, SS and Massardi, M and Mao, MY and McConnell, D and Norris, RP and Schnitzeler, D and Subrahmanyan, R and Urquhart, JS and Thompson, MA and Wark, RM, The Australia Telescope Compact Array Broad-band Backend: description and first results, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 416, (2) pp. 832-856. ISSN 1365-2966 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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The definitive published version is available online at:

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19054.x


Here, we describe the Compact Array Broad-band Backend (CABB) and present first results obtained with the upgraded Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). The 16-fold increase in observing bandwidth, from 2 × 128 to 2 × 2048 MHz, high-bit sampling and the addition of 16 zoom windows (each divided into further 2048 channels) provide major improvements for all ATCA observations. The benefits of the new system are: (1) hugely increased radio continuum and polarization sensitivity as well as image fidelity; (2) substantially improved capability to search for and map emission and absorption lines over large velocity ranges; (3) simultaneous multi-line and continuum observations; (4) increased sensitivity, survey speed and dynamic range due to high-bit sampling and (5) high-velocity resolution, while maintaining full polarization output. The new CABB system encourages all observers to make use of both spectral line and continuum data to achieve their full potential. Given the dramatic increase of the ATCA capabilities in all bands (ranging from 1.1 to 105 GHz) CABB enables scientific projects that were not feasible before the upgrade, such as simultaneous observations of multiple spectral lines, on-the-fly mapping, fast follow-up of radio transients (e.g. the radio afterglow of new supernovae) and maser observation at high-velocity resolution and full polarization. The first science results presented here include wide-band spectra, high dynamic-range images and polarization measurements, highlighting the increased capability and discovery potential of the ATCA.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:instrumentation: interferometers; methods: observational; ISM: general; galaxies: general; radio continuum: general; radio lines: general
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Astronomical instrumentation
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Mao, MY (Miss Minnie Mao)
ID Code:75139
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:285
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2012-01-12
Last Modified:2012-03-23

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