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Go-ahead for APERTIF-10 approved!

Submitter: Michael Garrett
Description: The ASTRON Board met in The Hague last Friday and one of the proposals to consider was the further roll-out of the APERTIF Phased Array Feed (PAF) system on the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. We are glad to report that the Board decided to support the roll out of at least 10 PAF systems on the WSRT, and has challenged the ASTRON directorate, together with the APERTIF community, to see how they can be creative in realising a full 12 PAF system.

The roll out of the first 6 APERTIF Phased-Array Feeds is already well underway, and is expected to be complete by the end of this year. The remaining systems will be rolled out in the spring/summer of 2016. With the full system deployed, the survey speed of the WSRT for HI surveys will be an order of magnitude better than the current performance obtained from the current MFFE single-pixel receivers. The main scientific impact of APERTIF will be in the fields of galaxy evolution, transients and pulsars. The system will also eventually be available as a very sensitive phased-up element of the European VLBI Network.

The Board's decision represents an important milestone for the APERTIF project, and we celebrate this with the image presented above. This digital artwork was created by Dutch artist, Danielle Futselaar, in collaboration with ASTRON. See http://www.daniellefutselaar.com/ for more of Danielle's illustrations, including several she has prepared for ASTRON, the SETI Institute and NASA.
Copyright: ASTRON
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