First ECHO paper

Our first paper about the drone calibrator is out on the arxiv today!  Using data from our field tests last year we measured the stability and accuracy of the beam maps. The repeatability compared well to measurements made using satellites (thats the plot on the right) and the measurements matched up well with the models. There were a few issues though. …

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HERA Prescott

When building any kind of instrument its really important for the people looking at the data to understand all the little things that go into building it and from an experimental perspective its key to be able to experiment with the hardware.  With the primary construction going on in South Africa this is a challenge. Travel to site is key, …

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First map of MWA tile!

Last week the ECHO team took the (relatively) short drive from Tempe up to Prescott, Arizona and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to do some more testing at a new location.  The Embry-Riddle Physics department has put together a very nice campus observatory which is predominantly devoted to radio science, both astronomy and aerospace. Under the leadership of Professor Andri …

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First 19 HERA dishes activated in the Karoo.

Here’s some great news, the first stage of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) has been finished and is now taking data. Now, witness the might of this fully operational battlestation. Well, actually we’re far from full size, so far we’ve got 19 out of the planned 350 dishes.  Here’s a picture.Each dish is 14 meters (42ft) across. …

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Early Science from Low-frequency Radio Telescopes

This year the Murchison Widefield Array annual December meeting was hosted by Arizona State University, here in Tempe. In celebration of over a year of active observing the meeting was opened to attendance and contributions from the wider community. The result was a rare convocation of the low frequency radio astronomy community. Topics ranged from …

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ECHO Echo echo

This semester I start work in earnest on a new project thats been simmering in the background, the External Calibrator for Hydrogen Observatories (ECHO) an experimental method to provide an airborne calibration source for wide-field radio arrays observing Hydrogen at cosmological distances. In particular, accurate maps of the primary beam (the response of the receiver …

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Cosmic Dawn in Science Magazine

Check out this article in Science magazine on Epoch of Reionization observations that really hits some interesting points not often covered in the media like the origin story of the MWA and LOFAR and the race to make a detection. Intrepid reporter Daniel Clery extracted some great quotes from the various PIs but my favorite is from Saleem Zaroubi: To …

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