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Surveys the sky, faster than ever before

Telescopes like ASKAP provide a big picture view of the Universe. Instead of studying a few objects in detail, astronomers can catalogue millions of new galaxies and other astronomical sources.

Located at our Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia, ASKAP has 36 ‘dish’ antennas that work together as one telescope.

The antennas stand three storeys tall, each with a 12-metre-wide dish, and they are dotted across the outback over an area of about six square kilometres.

Critical to ASKAP’s unique capability is a novel radio ‘camera’ called a phased array feed receiver, located at the apex of each antenna.

Data-intensive science

ASKAP generates data at the rate of 100 trillion bits per second – more data at a faster rate than Australia’s entire internet traffic.

At the heart of ASKAP is the ‘correlator’, a high-speed digital signal processing system that extracts astronomy signals from this massive amount of data.

Using the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and custom-written software, we produce science-ready datasets of many Terabytes for each observation, served to astronomers through ASKAP’s science archive.

Science programs with ASKAP are already delivering exciting new results, including all-sky catalogues of radio sources powered by black holes, measurements of hydrogen clouds in nearby and distant galaxies and clues to the origin of fast radio bursts.

We acknowledge the Wajarri Yamatji as the traditional owners of the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory site.

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