The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre

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Murchison Widefield Array

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is the low frequency precursor for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), located at the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory (MRO). MWA data are processed at the MRO, transported over an 800km optical fibre network, archived at the Pawsey Centre, and made available to scientists around the world.

The MWA is the first of the three SKA precursor telescopes to be made operational for science since August 2013. As such, the MWA project is the first “Big Data” user of the Pawsey Centre, producing data at a rate of 3 petabytes per year. These data serve a world-wide team of radio astronomers, working on nine large-scale projects, which have been assessed and approved by an independent international panel. The bottom part of the image shows the MWA site at night, with a tile holding 16 antenna elements over a 5×5-metre ground screen, with the beamformer at the far edge of the tile. The top of the image is an MWA image of the Milky Way galaxy, spanning a large fraction of the southern sky.

The MWA consortium consists of thirteen institutions from four countries, and is led by Curtin University.

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