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We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
We provide the first in situ measurements of antenna element beam shapes of the Murchison Widefield Array. Most current processing pipelines use an assumed beam shape, which can cause absolute and relative flux density errors and polarisation ‘leakage’. Understanding the primary beam is then of paramount importance, especially for sensitive experiments such as a measurement of the 21-cm line from the epoch of reionisation, where the calibration requirements are so extreme that tile to tile beam variations may affect our ability to make a detection. Measuring the primary beam shape from visibilities is challenging, as multiple instrumental, atmospheric, and astrophysical factors contribute to uncertainties in the data. Building on the methods of Neben et al. [Radio Sci., 50, 614], we tap directly into the receiving elements of the telescope before any digitisation or correlation of the signal. Using ORBCOMM satellite passes we are able to produce all-sky maps for four separate tiles in the XX polarisation. We find good agreement with the beam model of Sokolowski et al. [2017, PASA, 34, e062], and clearly observe the effects of a missing dipole from a tile in one of our beam maps. We end by motivating and outlining additional on-site experiments.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
Voluntary automatic milking is proposed as a system whereby dairy cows can choose to be milked when they want. The aim is to develop a system that can milk and perform all the associated tasks without requiring routine human intervention. (Details of the design and operation can be found in Street et al., 1992.) The system may not be viable unless the cows visit at an appropriate frequency, high enough to generate the 0·10 to 0·15 proportional increase of milk yield from cows milked three or more times per day (e.g. Knight and Wilde, 1993) but not so high as to result in some cows over-using the system. Understanding why cows may want to visit the system is therefore important. The two most important reasons why a cow may attend are likely to be motivation to be milked and motivation to eat. Motivation to be milked may change as lactation progresses. Late lactation cows have been shown to enter a milking parlour later than high yielding cows in one experiment (Rathore, 1982) but not in another (Winter, 1993). Rathore (1982) suggested that motivation to be milked may be generated by the discomfort of a large and distended udder. Motivation to be milked may also be linked to some inherent desire of the cow to suckle and subsequently wean her calf. This may be independent of the amount of milk in her udder and decline during lactation. Therefore motivation to be milked could be generated either from the discomfort of a large and distended udder or by some psychological desire by the cow to suckle a calf generalized to a milking machine. Either way, the strength of motivation to be milked may have implications for how an automatic milking system (AMS) is designed. For example, if cows were highly motivated to be milked and attended at an appropriate frequency, there would be no requirement to provide additional incentives, such as food, to attract cows into the AMS. In addition, if cows choose to be milked more frequently than they are milked in conventional systems (generally twice per day), then this may be a method by which choices can be engineered into an animal’s environment.
The thermal insulation of pigs (Sus scrofa) is considered poor (Mount and Ingram, 1965) as they do not have a thick coat and have a variable subcutaneous fat thickness. Ventilation rates in animal houses are often reduced in colder weather to maintain an optimal thermal environment. However this may fail to remove atmospheric pollutants (e.g. Menses, 1987).
We are undertaking an extensive survey of a sample of radio-selected flat-spectrum sources, which are predominantly quasars. The sample will be used for a range of gravitational lensing studies as well as studies of the generic properties of radio quasars. As yet we have not found any instances of multiply-imaged quasars, however we have found evidence for dust which we believe is reddening the observed spectra of many of the quasars. Samples which are selected to be complete in the radio are the best way to account for the effects of dust.
We have compiled a catalogue of H ii regions detected with the Murchison Widefield Array between 72 and 231 MHz. The multiple frequency bands provided by the Murchison Widefield Array allow us identify the characteristic spectrum generated by the thermal Bremsstrahlung process in H ii regions. We detect 306 H ii regions between 260° < l < 340° and report on the positions, sizes, peak, integrated flux density, and spectral indices of these H ii regions. By identifying the point at which H ii regions transition from the optically thin to thick regime, we derive the physical properties including the electron density, ionised gas mass, and ionising photon flux, towards 61 H ii regions. This catalogue of H ii regions represents the most extensive and uniform low frequency survey of H ii regions in the Galaxy to date.
We compare first-order (refractive) ionospheric effects seen by the MWA with the ionosphere as inferred from GPS data. The first-order ionosphere manifests itself as a bulk position shift of the observed sources across an MWA field of view. These effects can be computed from global ionosphere maps provided by GPS analysis centres, namely the CODE. However, for precision radio astronomy applications, data from local GPS networks needs to be incorporated into ionospheric modelling. For GPS observations, the ionospheric parameters are biased by GPS receiver instrument delays, among other effects, also known as receiver DCBs. The receiver DCBs need to be estimated for any non-CODE GPS station used for ionosphere modelling. In this work, single GPS station-based ionospheric modelling is performed at a time resolution of 10 min. Also the receiver DCBs are estimated for selected Geoscience Australia GPS receivers, located at Murchison Radio Observatory, Yarragadee, Mount Magnet and Wiluna. The ionospheric gradients estimated from GPS are compared with that inferred from MWA. The ionospheric gradients at all the GPS stations show a correlation with the gradients observed with the MWA. The ionosphere estimates obtained using GPS measurements show promise in terms of providing calibration information for the MWA.
GLEAM, the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA survey, is a survey of the entire radio sky south of declination + 25° at frequencies between 72 and 231 MHz, made with the MWA using a drift scan method that makes efficient use of the MWA’s very large field-of-view. We present the observation details, imaging strategies, and theoretical sensitivity for GLEAM. The survey ran for two years, the first year using 40-kHz frequency resolution and 0.5-s time resolution; the second year using 10-kHz frequency resolution and 2 s time resolution. The resulting image resolution and sensitivity depends on observing frequency, sky pointing, and image weighting scheme. At 154 MHz, the image resolution is approximately 2.5 × 2.2/cos (δ + 26.7°) arcmin with sensitivity to structures up to ~ 10° in angular size. We provide tables to calculate the expected thermal noise for GLEAM mosaics depending on pointing and frequency and discuss limitations to achieving theoretical noise in Stokes I images. We discuss challenges, and their solutions, that arise for GLEAM including ionospheric effects on source positions and linearly polarised emission, and the instrumental polarisation effects inherent to the MWA’s primary beam.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a Square Kilometre Array Precursor. The telescope is located at the Murchison Radio–astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. The MWA consists of 4 096 dipoles arranged into 128 dual polarisation aperture arrays forming a connected element interferometer that cross-correlates signals from all 256 inputs. A hybrid approach to the correlation task is employed, with some processing stages being performed by bespoke hardware, based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays, and others by Graphics Processing Units housed in general purpose rack mounted servers. The correlation capability required is approximately 8 tera floating point operations per second. The MWA has commenced operations and the correlator is generating 8.3 TB day−1 of correlation products, that are subsequently transferred 700 km from the MRO to Perth (WA) in real-time for storage and offline processing. In this paper, we outline the correlator design, signal path, and processing elements and present the data format for the internal and external interfaces.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a new low-frequency interferometric radio telescope built in Western Australia at one of the locations of the future Square Kilometre Array. We describe the automated radio-frequency interference detection strategy implemented for the Murchison Widefield Array, which is based on the aoflagger platform, and present 72–231 MHz radio-frequency interference statistics from 10 observing nights. Radio-frequency interference detection removes 1.1% of the data. Radio-frequency interference from digital TV is observed 3% of the time due to occasional ionospheric or atmospheric propagation. After radio-frequency interference detection and excision, almost all data can be calibrated and imaged without further radio-frequency interference mitigation efforts, including observations within the FM and digital TV bands. The results are compared to a previously published Low-Frequency Array radio-frequency interference survey. The remote location of the Murchison Widefield Array results in a substantially cleaner radio-frequency interference environment compared to Low-Frequency Array’s radio environment, but adequate detection of radio-frequency interference is still required before data can be analysed. We include specific recommendations designed to make the Square Kilometre Array more robust to radio-frequency interference, including: the availability of sufficient computing power for radio-frequency interference detection; accounting for radio-frequency interference in the receiver design; a smooth band-pass response; and the capability of radio-frequency interference detection at high time and frequency resolution (second and kHz-scale respectively).
The science cases for incorporating high time resolution capabilities into modern radio telescopes are as numerous as they are compelling. Science targets range from exotic sources such as pulsars, to our Sun, to recently detected possible extragalactic bursts of radio emission, the so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs). Originally conceived purely as an imaging telescope, the initial design of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) did not include the ability to access high time and frequency resolution voltage data. However, the flexibility of the MWA’s software correlator allowed an off-the-shelf solution for adding this capability. This paper describes the system that records the 100 μs and 10 kHz resolution voltage data from the MWA. Example science applications, where this capability is critical, are presented, as well as accompanying commissioning results from this mode to demonstrate verification.
We present the results of an approximately 6 100 deg2 104–196 MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the MWACS. The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h < RA < 8.5 h, − 58° < Dec < −14°over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6–3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3 arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy beam− 1, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaicked snapshots, flux density calibration, and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14 110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1 247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources.
Significant new opportunities for astrophysics and cosmology have been identified at low radio frequencies. The Murchison Widefield Array is the first telescope in the southern hemisphere designed specifically to explore the low-frequency astronomical sky between 80 and 300 MHz with arcminute angular resolution and high survey efficiency. The telescope will enable new advances along four key science themes, including searching for redshifted 21-cm emission from the EoR in the early Universe; Galactic and extragalactic all-sky southern hemisphere surveys; time-domain astrophysics; and solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric science and space weather. The Murchison Widefield Array is located in Western Australia at the site of the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) low-band telescope and is the only low-frequency SKA precursor facility. In this paper, we review the performance properties of the Murchison Widefield Array and describe its primary scientific objectives.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is one of three Square Kilometre Array Precursor telescopes and is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in the Murchison Shire of the mid-west of Western Australia, a location chosen for its extremely low levels of radio frequency interference. The MWA operates at low radio frequencies, 80–300 MHz, with a processed bandwidth of 30.72 MHz for both linear polarisations, and consists of 128 aperture arrays (known as tiles) distributed over a ~3-km diameter area. Novel hybrid hardware/software correlation and a real-time imaging and calibration systems comprise the MWA signal processing backend. In this paper, the as-built MWA is described both at a system and sub-system level, the expected performance of the array is presented, and the science goals of the instrument are summarised.
The immunoglobulins (IgGs) for beta amyloid (Aβ) and receptors for the advanced glycation end products (RAGE) have previously been shown to be related to memory and language measures in a mixed neurological sample of older adults. In this study, we examined group differences in Aβ and RAGE IgGs, as well as the relationship between both IgGs and cognitive performance in nondiabetic older adults with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and probable Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We found RAGE and Aβ levels to be elevated in some AD participants, leading to significant AD–control group differences. While there was an overall correlation between both IgG levels and global cognition across all three groups, this relationship was largely attributable to group differences in cognition, highlighted by considerable variability within groups in the relationship between IgG levels and cognition. While findings do not support a consistent relationship between cognition and either IgG, further research with larger samples is needed to better characterize cognitive differences between AD participants with high versus low Aβ and RAGE titers. (JINS, 2010, 16, 672–678.)
Schistosomiasis remains one of the most prevalent parasitic diseases in developing countries. After malaria, schistosomiasis is the most important tropical disease in terms of human morbidity with significant economic and public health consequences. Although schistosomiasis has recently attracted increased focus and funding for control, it has been estimated that less than 20% of the funding needed to control the disease in Africa is currently available. In this article the following issues are discussed: the rationale, development and objectives of the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)-supported programmes; the management approaches followed to achieve implementation by each country; mapping, monitoring and evaluation activities with quantifiable impact of control programmes; monitoring for any potential drug resistance; and finally exit strategies within each country. The results have demonstrated that morbidity due to schistosomiasis has been reduced by the control programmes. While challenges remain, the case for the control of schistosomiasis has been strengthened by research by SCI teams and the principle that a national programme using ‘preventive chemotherapy’ can be successfully implemented in sub-Saharan Africa, whenever the resources are available. SCI and partners are now actively striving to raise further funds to expand the coverage of integrated control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in sub-Saharan Africa.
Representative samples of Ugandan Schistosoma mansoni from Lake Albert and Lake Victoria were examined using DNA barcoding, sequence analysis of two partially overlapping regions – ASMIT (396 bp) & MORGAN (617 bp) – of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (cox1). The Victorian sample exhibited greater nucleotide diversity, 1·4% vs. 1·0%, and a significant population partition appeared as barcodes did not cross-over between lakes. With one exception, Lake Albert populations were more mixed by sampled location, while those from Lake Victoria appeared more secluded. Using statistical parsimony, barcode ASMIT 1 was putatively ancestral to all others and analysis of MORGAN cox1 confirmed population diversity. All samples fell into two of five well-resolved lineages; sub-lineages therein broadly partitioning by lake. It seems that barcode ASMIT 1 (and close variants) was likely widely dispersed throughout the Nilotic environment but later diversified in situ, and in parallel, within Lake Albert and Lake Victoria. The genetic uniformity of Ugandan S. mansoni can no longer be assumed, which might better explain known epidemiological heterogeneities. While it appears plausible that locally evolved heritable traits could spread through most of the Lake Albert populations, it seems unlikely they could quickly homogenise into Lake Victoria or amongst populations therein.