Colloquium: The Canadian Hydrogen Observatory and Radio-transient Detector (CHORD)
In recent years, radio observatories have been reshaped by rapid developments in the digital and telecommunications sectors. Technological advancements have allowed for faster surveys, larger fields-of-view, and a multiplicity of commensal studies, with corresponding scientific returns.
Building off the experience and knowledge developed on the highly successful Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), the Canadian Hydrogen Observatory and Radio-transient Detector (CHORD) is a large-N, small-D, ultra-wideband radio array under construction in Canada. Using a dense-packed “core” array of 512x 6m dishes located immediately next to CHIME, CHORD will observe over a 5:1 band spanning 300-1500MHz. Two smaller “outrigger” stations, located at VLBI distances, will supplement the core for high-precision astrometry.
CHORD will commensally produce and process a wide range of data products feeding a variety of studies, from cosmological 21cm intensity mapping to Fast Radio Burst (FRB) discovery & localization. In this talk, I will discuss the background, motivation, and design of the array, followed by current progress and prototyping efforts. Full funding for CHORD was recently secured, with construction taking place over the coming 3 years and first light scheduled for 2025.