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2019 Programme


Radio Interferometry at the Highest Angular Resolutions: Instrumentation and Astronomical Applications

A/Prof Adam Deller

Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology

3.30pm Thursday 15 August 2019
Virtual Reality Theatre, Ground Floor of AR Building (AR104)



By combining radio signals received at telescopes spread across the globe into an interferometer 10,000km in size, it is possible to make images with an angular resolution of ~10 nanoradians: sufficient to discern a human hair at a distance of 10 km.  In order to produce these images, it is necessary to perform sophisticated digital signal processing on the sampled representation of the electric field sensed by the radio telescopes in the array.  Historically, the high computational demands of this process led to the implementation of custom DSP hardware, but the ever-increasing power of commodity hardware has recently led to the widespread adoption of a more flexible, "software"-based processing system.   I will describe the "DiFX" software correlator package that is now used for most high angular resolution radio imaging world-wide, and illustrate several of its applications from recent years, including the first ever image of the wreckage from the collision of two neutron stars, and the first ever image of the shadow of a black hole.


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2019 Programme