We describe a focal plane array (FPA) system, called Apertif, that is being developed for the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT). The aim of Apertif is to increase the instantaneous field of view of the WSRT by a factor of 37 and its observing bandwidth to 300 MHz with high spectral resolution. This system will turn the WSRT into an effective survey telescope with scientific applications such as deep imaging surveys of the northern sky of HI and OH emission, of the polarised continuum and efficient searches for pulsars and transients. Such surveys will detect the HI in more than 100,000 galaxies out to z = 0.4, will allow to determine the detailed structure of the magnetic field of the Galaxy, and will discover more than 1,000 pulsars. We present experimental results obtained with a prototype FPA installed in one of the WSRT dishes. These results demonstrate that FPAs do have the performance that is required to make all these surveys possible.
Wide Field Astronomy & Technology for the Square Kilometre Array
- Pub Date:
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics
- Presented at Widefield Science and Technology for the SKA, SKADS Conference 2009, Chateau de Limelette, Belgium, 4-6 novemer 2009