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RE: Pathfinder telescope
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New Zealand and Australia's bid to host the international SKA radio telescope has taken a leap forward, following the commissioning of a working optical fibre link between AUT University's radio telescope and radio telescopes across Australia including CSIRO's Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope in Western Australia.
The achievement is being announced at the 2011 International SKA Forum, taking place this week in Banff, Canada.

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ASKAP telescopes
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Aboriginal community names ASKAP telescopes

Bilyarli (which means "galah", and is also the name of a past Wajarri Elder, Mr Frank Ryan)
Bundarra (stars)
Wilara (the Moon)
Jirdilungu (the Milky Way)
Balayi (a lookout, as this antenna looks down westward to others)
Diggidumble (a nearby table-top hill).

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Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope
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Wajarri elders name the antennas of one of the world's most powerful radio telescopes.

The first six antennas of the landmark Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), a radio telescope being developed by the CSIRO, have been officially named by the Wajarri people of mid-west Western Australia.
Representatives from seven Aboriginal families presented the chosen names on plaques at a special ceremony held on 2 June at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, about 315km north-east of Geraldton.

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ASKAP
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New telescope to view panorama of the universe

An international team of researchers are introducing phased-array feed (PAF) receivers to radio telescopes for the first time, enabling large areas of sky to be surveyed with unprecedented sensitivity and speed.
Unlike the single-pixel feeds used in current radio telescopes, PAFs have many separate, simultaneous beams to detect cosmic radio waves, which will allow astronomers to catch sight of transient objects such as supernovae and x-ray binary star systems more efficiently than ever before.
Australian researchers built a '13-beam' receiver for the 64-m telescope at the Parkes Observatory owned by national science organisation CSIRO in New South Wales. This array of receivers allow astronomers to work 13 times faster than those working with single-pixel receivers.

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Murchison Wide-field Array
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Scientists and industry seek the first stars and galaxies

A quest to discover the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang is underway with the first major pieces of a revolutionary new radio telescope built in remote Western Australia.
The Murchison Wide-field Array (MWA) is being built by an Australian consortium led by The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), a joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia, in close collaboration with US and Indian partners.
MWA industry partner and Fremantle-based high-technology company, Poseidon Scientific Instruments (PSI), recently succeeded in packaging sensitive electronics into environmentally controlled enclosures tough enough to withstand the harsh conditions of outback WA.

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ASKAP
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CSIRO's first six ASKAP antennas constructed

CSIRO's Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (or ASKAP) project continues to progress to schedule, with five new antennas constructed at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) during the months of September and October, 2010.
The five new antennas bring the total number of ASKAP antennas now standing at the MRO site to six, with the first ASKAP antenna successfully built and trialled earlier in the year.
All 36 ASKAP antennas are being constructed at the MRO by their manufacturer - the 54th Research Institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (known as CETC54), with CSIRO's ASKAP team and local contractors also assisting with the antenna build.

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Title: Science with ASKAP - the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder
Authors: Simon Johnston (ATNF), Jasper Wall (UBC, Editor), (and 49 co-authors)

The future of cm and m-wave astronomy lies with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a telescope under development by a consortium of 17 countries. The SKA will be 50 times more sensitive than any existing radio facility. A majority of the key science for the SKA will be addressed through large-area imaging of the Universe at frequencies from 300 MHz to a few GHz.
The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) is aimed squarely in this frequency range, and achieves instantaneous wide-area imaging through the development and deployment of phase-array feed systems on parabolic reflectors. This large field-of-view makes ASKAP an unprecedented synoptic telescope poised to achieve substantial advances in SKA key science. The central core of ASKAP will be located at the Murchison Radio Observatory in inland Western Australia, one of the most radio-quiet locations on the Earth and one of the sites selected by the international community as a potential location for the SKA.
Following an introductory description of ASKAP, this document contains 7 chapters describing specific science programmes for ASKAP.
The combination of location, technological innovation and scientific program will ensure that ASKAP will be a world-leading radio astronomy facility, closely aligned with the scientific and technical direction of the SKA. A brief summary chapter emphasizes the point, and considers discovery space.

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Pathfinder telescope
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Pathfinder telescope
Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, today launched a register of the opportunities available to industry to participate in building a $100 million radio telescope in Western Australia.

"The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, or Pathfinder telescope for short, will be an internationally significant, next-generation radio telescope, featuring world-leading technology. CSIRO believes that when it is fully operational, this Australian telescope will be the most powerful survey radio telescope in the world" - Senator Carr.

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