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The Commensal Real-Time ASKAP Fast-Transients (CRAFT) Survey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2013

Jean-Pierre Macquart*
Affiliation:
ICRAR/Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845
M. Bailes
Affiliation:
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, SwinburneUniversity of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, VIC 3122
N. D. R. Bhat
Affiliation:
Astronomy Department & Radio Astronomy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
G. C. Bower
Affiliation:
Astronomy Department & Radio Astronomy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
J. D. Bunton
Affiliation:
Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710
S. Chatterjee
Affiliation:
Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA), School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Astronomy Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
T. Colegate
Affiliation:
ICRAR/Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845
J. M. Cordes
Affiliation:
Astronomy Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
L. D'Addario
Affiliation:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
A. Deller
Affiliation:
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), PO Box 0, Socorro, NM 87801, USA
R. Dodson
Affiliation:
ICRAR/University of Western Australia, Fairway 7, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009
R. Fender
Affiliation:
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK and Astronomical Institute ‘Anton Pannekoek’, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
K. Haines
Affiliation:
ICRAR/University of Western Australia, Fairway 7, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009
P. Hall
Affiliation:
ICRAR/Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845
C. Harris
Affiliation:
ICRAR/University of Western Australia, Fairway 7, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009
A. Hotan
Affiliation:
ICRAR/Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845
S. Johnston
Affiliation:
Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710
D. L. Jones
Affiliation:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
M. Keith
Affiliation:
Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710
J. Y. Koay
Affiliation:
ICRAR/Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845
T. J. W. Lazio
Affiliation:
Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20375, USA
W. Majid
Affiliation:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
T. Murphy
Affiliation:
Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA), School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006
R. Navarro
Affiliation:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
C. Phillips
Affiliation:
Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710
P. Quinn
Affiliation:
ICRAR/University of Western Australia, Fairway 7, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009
R. A. Preston
Affiliation:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
B. Stansby
Affiliation:
ICRAR/Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845
I. Stairs
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada
B. Stappers
Affiliation:
Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Alan Turing Building, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
L. Staveley-Smith
Affiliation:
ICRAR/University of Western Australia, Fairway 7, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009
S. Tingay
Affiliation:
ICRAR/Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845
D. Thompson
Affiliation:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
W. van Straten
Affiliation:
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, SwinburneUniversity of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, VIC 3122
K. Wagstaff
Affiliation:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
M. Warren
Affiliation:
Theoretical Astrophysics Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87543, USA
R. Wayth
Affiliation:
ICRAR/Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845
L. Wen
Affiliation:
ICRAR/University of Western Australia, Fairway 7, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009
*
OCorresponding author. Email: j.macquart@curtin.edu.au
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Abstract

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We are developing a purely commensal survey experiment for fast (<5 s) transient radio sources. Short-timescale transients are associated with the most energetic and brightest single events in the Universe. Our objective is to cover the enormous volume of transients parameter space made available by ASKAP, with an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and field of view. Fast timescale transients open new vistas on the physics of high brightness temperature emission, extreme states of matter and the physics of strong gravitational fields. In addition, the detection of extragalactic objects affords us an entirely new and extremely sensitive probe on the huge reservoir of baryons present in the IGM. We outline here our approach to the considerable challenge involved in detecting fast transients, particularly the development of hardware fast enough to dedisperse and search the ASKAP data stream at or near real-time rates. Through CRAFT, ASKAP will provide the testbed of many of the key technologies and survey modes proposed for high time resolution science with the SKA.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Astronomical Society of Australia 2010

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