The Murchison Widefield Array Correlator

S. M. Ord, B. Crosse, D. Emrich, D. Pallot, R. B. Wayth, M. A. Clark, S. E. Tremblay, W. Arcus, D. Barnes, M. Bell, G. Bernardi, N. D R Bhat, Judd Bowman, F. Briggs, J. D. Bunton, R. J. Cappallo, B. E. Corey, A. A. Deshpande, L. Desouza, A. Ewell-WiceL. Feng, R. Goeke, L. J. Greenhill, B. J. Hazelton, D. Herne, J. N. Hewitt, L. Hindson, N. Hurley-Walker, Daniel Jacobs, M. Johnston-Hollitt, D. L. Kaplan, J. C. Kasper, B. B. Kincaid, R. Koenig, E. Kratzenberg, N. Kudryavtseva, E. Lenc, C. J. Lonsdale, M. J. Lynch, B. McKinley, S. R. McWhirter, D. A. Mitchell, M. F. Morales, E. Morgan, D. Oberoi, A. Offringa, J. Pathikulangara, B. Pindor, T. Prabu, P. Procopio, R. A. Remillard, J. Riding, A. E E Rogers, A. Roshi, J. E. Salah, R. J. Sault, N. Udaya Shankar, K. S. Srivani, J. Stevens, R. Subrahmanyan, S. J. Tingay, M. Waterson, R. L. Webster, A. R. Whitney, A. Williams, C. L. Williams, J. S B Wyithe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Murchison Widefield Array is a Square Kilometre Array Precursor. The telescope is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. The MWA consists of 4 096 dipoles arranged into 128 dual polarisation aperture arrays forming a connected element interferometer that cross-correlates signals from all 256 inputs. A hybrid approach to the correlation task is employed, with some processing stages being performed by bespoke hardware, based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays, and others by Graphics Processing Units housed in general purpose rack mounted servers. The correlation capability required is approximately 8 tera floating point operations per second. The MWA has commenced operations and the correlator is generating 8.3 TB day-1 of correlation products, that are subsequently transferred 700 km from the MRO to Perth (WA) in real-time for storage and offline processing. In this paper, we outline the correlator design, signal path, and processing elements and present the data format for the internal and external interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere006
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Volume32
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 16 2015

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Keywords

  • instrumentation: interferometers
  • techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Ord, S. M., Crosse, B., Emrich, D., Pallot, D., Wayth, R. B., Clark, M. A., Tremblay, S. E., Arcus, W., Barnes, D., Bell, M., Bernardi, G., Bhat, N. D. R., Bowman, J., Briggs, F., Bunton, J. D., Cappallo, R. J., Corey, B. E., Deshpande, A. A., Desouza, L., ... Wyithe, J. S. B. (2015). The Murchison Widefield Array Correlator. Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 32, [e006]. https://doi.org/10.1017/pasa.2015.5