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The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an electronically steered low-frequency (<300 MHz) radio interferometer, with a ‘slew’ time less than 8 s. Low-frequency (∼100 MHz) radio telescopes are ideally suited for rapid response follow-up of transients due to their large field of view, the inverted spectrum of coherent emission, and the fact that the dispersion delay between a 1 GHz and 100 MHz pulse is on the order of 1–10 min for dispersion measures of 100–2000 pc/cm3. The MWA has previously been used to provide fast follow-up for transient events including gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), fast radio bursts (FRBs), and gravitational waves, using systems that respond to gamma-ray coordinates network packet-based notifications. We describe a system for automatically triggering MWA observations of such events, based on Virtual Observatory Event standard triggers, which is more flexible, capable, and accurate than previous systems. The system can respond to external multi-messenger triggers, which makes it well-suited to searching for prompt coherent radio emission from GRBs, the study of FRBs and gravitational waves, single pulse studies of pulsars, and rapid follow-up of high-energy superflares from flare stars. The new triggering system has the capability to trigger observations in both the regular correlator mode (limited to ≥0.5 s integrations) and using the Voltage Capture System (VCS, 0.1 ms integration) of the MWA and represents a new mode of operation for the MWA. The upgraded standard correlator triggering capability has been in use since MWA observing semester 2018B (July–Dec 2018), and the VCS and buffered mode triggers will become available for observing in a future semester.
This work presents an alternative methodology for monitoring flight performance during airline operations using the available inboard instrumentation system. This method tries to reduce the disadvantages of the traditional specific range monitoring technique where instrumentation noise and cruise stabilisation conditions affect the quality of the performance monitoring results. The proposed method consists of using an unscented Kalman filter for aircraft performance identification using Newton’s flight dynamic equations in the body X, Y and Z axis. The use of the filtering technique reduces the effect of instrumentation and process noise, enhancing the reliability of the performance results. Besides the better quality of the monitoring process, using the proposed technique, additional results that are not possible to predict with the specific range method are identified during the filtering process. An example of these possible filtered results that show the advantages of this proposed methodology are the aircraft fuel flow offsets, as predicted in the specific range method, but also other important aircraft performance parameters as the aircraft lift and drag coefficients (CL and CD), sideslip angle (β) and wind speeds, giving the operator a deeper understanding of its aircraft operational status and the possibility to link the operational monitoring results to aircraft maintenance scheduling. This work brings a cruise stabilisation example where the selected performance monitoring parameters such as fuel flow factors, lift and drag bias, winds and sideslip angle are identified using only the inboard instrumentation such as the GPS/inertial sensors, a calibrated anemometric system and the angle-of-attack vanes relating each flight condition to a specific aircraft performance monitoring result. The results show that the proposed method captures the performance parameters by the use of the Kalman filter without the need of a strict stabilisation phase as it is recommended in the traditional specific range method, giving operators better flexibility when analysing and monitoring fleet performance.
Although both obesity and ageing are risk factors for cognitive impairment, there is no evidence in Chile on how obesity levels are associated with cognitive function. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the association between adiposity levels and cognitive impairment in older Chilean adults. This cross-sectional study includes 1384 participants, over 60 years of age, from the Chilean National Health Survey 2009–2010. Cognitive impairment was evaluated using the Mini-Mental State Examination. BMI and waist circumference (WC) were used as measures of adiposity. Compared with people with a normal BMI, the odds of cognitive impairment were higher in participants who were underweight (OR 4·44; 95 % CI 2·43, 6·45; P < 0·0001), overweight (OR 1·86; 95 % CI 1·06, 2·66; P = 0·031) and obese (OR 2·26; 95 % CI 1·31, 3·21; P = 0·003). The associations were robust after adjustment for confounding variables. Similar results were observed for WC. Low and high levels of adiposity are associated with an increased likelihood of cognitive impairment in older adults in Chile.
Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) data analysis requires unprecedented levels of accuracy in radio interferometer pipelines. We have developed an imaging power spectrum analysis to meet these requirements and generate robust 21 cm EoR measurements. In this work, we build a signal path framework to mathematically describe each step in the analysis, from data reduction in the Fast Holographic Deconvolution (FHD) package to power spectrum generation in the εppsilon package. In particular, we focus on the distinguishing characteristics of FHD/εppsilon: highly accurate spectral calibration, extensive data verification products, and end-to-end error propagation. We present our key data analysis products in detail to facilitate understanding of the prominent systematics in image-based power spectrum analyses. As a verification to our analysis, we also highlight a full-pipeline analysis simulation to demonstrate signal preservation and lack of signal loss. This careful treatment ensures that the FHD/εppsilon power spectrum pipeline can reduce radio interferometric data to produce credible 21 cm EoR measurements.
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.
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.
In conservation biology, population monitoring is a critical step, particularly for endangered groups, such as steppe birds in European agro-ecosystems. Long-term population monitoring allows for determination of species population trends and also provides insights into the relative roles that environmental variability and human activities have on priority species. Here, we compare the population trends of two sympatric, closely related farmland bird species, the Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax and Great Bustard Otis tarda, in a protected area of Central Spain, which is their main stronghold in Europe. Over 12 years of monitoring, the abundance of Little and Great Bustards shifted in opposite directions in our study area. Little Bustard abundance decreased significantly (both males [-56%], and harder-to-detect females [-55%]), while Great Bustard abundance increased significantly (1,800%). Future surveys should be more precise and frequent for Little Bustards to facilitate evaluation of their population status and trends. We recommend annual surveys in 2–3 important locations by region throughout the breeding range for Little Bustards, while for Great Bustard the current regional monitoring programmes would be sufficient.
Elevated circulating cholesterol levels are a risk factor for CVD which is also associated with sub-optimal vascular function. There is emerging evidence that anthocyanins can cause beneficial cardio-protective effects by favourably modulating lipoprotein profiles. We compared the effects of blood orange juice which is rich in anthocyanins and blonde orange juice without anthocyanins on LDL-cholesterol and other biomarkers of CVD risk, vascular function and glycaemia. In all, forty-one participants (aged 25–84 years) with a waist circumference >94 cm (men) and >80 cm (women) completed a randomised, open label, two-arm cross-over trial. For 28 d participants ingested (i) 500 ml blood orange juice providing 50 mg anthocyanins/d and (ii) 500 ml blonde orange juice without anthocyanins. There was a minimum 3-week washout period between treatments. LDL-cholesterol and other biomarkers associated with CVD risk and glycaemia were assessed at the start and end of each treatment period. No significant differences were observed in total, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol, TAG, glucose, fructosamine, nitric oxide, C-reactive protein, aortic systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure or carotid-femoral and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity after 28 d ingestion of blood orange juice compared with standard orange juice. The lack of effect on LDL-cholesterol may be due to the modest concentration of anthocyanins in the blood orange juice.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
We investigate the question of how plasma currents circulate and close in the scrape-off-layer (SOL) of convection-limited tokamak plasmas. A simplified two-fluid model describes how currents must evacuate charge at the sheaths due to cross-field currents that are not divergence-free. These include turbulence-driven polarization currents and poloidally asymmetric equilibrium diamagnetic currents. The theory provides an estimate for the radial profile of the floating potential, which reveals a dipolar structure like the one observed experimentally. Simulations with a fluid turbulence code provide evidence for the predicted behaviour of currents and floating potential.
Traditionally, personalised nutrition was delivered at an individual level. However, the concept of delivering tailored dietary advice at a group level through the identification of metabotypes or groups of metabolically similar individuals has emerged. Although this approach to personalised nutrition looks promising, further work is needed to examine this concept across a wider population group. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to: (1) identify metabotypes in a European population and (2) develop targeted dietary advice solutions for these metabotypes. Using data from the Food4Me study (n 1607), k-means cluster analysis revealed the presence of three metabolically distinct clusters based on twenty-seven metabolic markers including cholesterol, individual fatty acids and carotenoids. Cluster 2 was identified as a metabolically healthy metabotype as these individuals had the highest Omega-3 Index (6·56 (sd 1·29) %), carotenoids (2·15 (sd 0·71) µm) and lowest total saturated fat levels. On the basis of its fatty acid profile, cluster 1 was characterised as a metabolically unhealthy cluster. Targeted dietary advice solutions were developed per cluster using a decision tree approach. Testing of the approach was performed by comparison with the personalised dietary advice, delivered by nutritionists to Food4Me study participants (n 180). Excellent agreement was observed between the targeted and individualised approaches with an average match of 82 % at the level of delivery of the same dietary message. Future work should ascertain whether this proposed method could be utilised in a healthcare setting, for the rapid and efficient delivery of tailored dietary advice solutions.
We describe the design and performance of the Engineering Development Array, which is a low-frequency radio telescope comprising 256 dual-polarisation dipole antennas working as a phased array. The Engineering Development Array was conceived of, developed, and deployed in just 18 months via re-use of Square Kilometre Array precursor technology and expertise, specifically from the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. Using drift scans and a model for the sky brightness temperature at low frequencies, we have derived the Engineering Development Array’s receiver temperature as a function of frequency. The Engineering Development Array is shown to be sky-noise limited over most of the frequency range measured between 60 and 240 MHz. By using the Engineering Development Array in interferometric mode with the Murchison Widefield Array, we used calibrated visibilities to measure the absolute sensitivity of the array. The measured array sensitivity matches very well with a model based on the array layout and measured receiver temperature. The results demonstrate the practicality and feasibility of using Murchison Widefield Array-style precursor technology for Square Kilometre Array-scale stations. The modular architecture of the Engineering Development Array allows upgrades to the array to be rolled out in a staged approach. Future improvements to the Engineering Development Array include replacing the second stage beamformer with a fully digital system, and to transition to using RF-over-fibre for the signal output from first stage beamformers.
The main objective of this work was to evaluate technologies that have potential for monitoring aspects related to spatial and temporal variability of soil nutrients and pasture yield and for support to decision making by the farmers. Three types of sensors were evaluated: an electromagnetic induction sensor, an active optical sensor and a capacitance probe. The results are relevant for the selection of the adequate sensing system for each particular application and to open new perspectives for other works that would allow the testing, calibration and validation of the sensors in a wider range of pasture production conditions and rainfall patterns, characteristic of the Mediterranean region.
Mite growth inhibitors (MGIs), such as etoxazole and hexythiazox, are valuable IPM tools for Tetranychus urticae control in hops due to their unique mode of action and selectivity. Hence, it is necessary to standardize bioassay methods to evaluate the efficacy of MGIs, monitor resistance, and identify mechanisms underlying MGI resistance in the field. Here, we developed a three-tiered approach for evaluating ovicidal toxicity of MGIs to T. urticae, which simulated different MGI exposure scenarios in the field. The most effective bioassay method was direct exposure of T. urticae eggs to MGIs. With this method, four field-collected T. urticae populations showed low-to-moderate resistance to MGIs. Cross-resistance among MGIs and from MGIs to bifenazate and bifenthrin was detected. Besides target site insensitivity, enhanced cytochrome P450 and esterase activities also contribute to the MGI resistance in hop yard-collected T. urticae populations. Low-to-moderate MGI resistance in T. urticae populations may be mediated by multiple mechanisms. Positive selection pressure on the I1017F mutation is moderate in field-collected T. urticae populations. Further studies are required to identify metabolic detoxification genes that confer resistance to MGIs for precise resistance monitoring.
The aim of the present study was to conduct the preliminary adaptation of the Morningness-Eveningness-Stability-Scale improved (MESSi) to Spanish population, testing its factor structure and construct validity. Participants were 261 adults (65% women; M = 31.4, SD = 12.01) who filled out measures of Morningness-Eveningness (MESSi and CSM), sleep habits, personality traits, positive and negative affect, and subjective level of alertness during the day. Psychometric results supported a three factorial model with the factors Morning Affect, Eveningness and Distinctness (RMSEA = .072). The factors showed good internal consistence (α = 0.72–0.85). The pattern of correlations between MESSi and the other measures were in the expected direction (low to moderated size effects). Morning Affect was positively predicted by morning chronotype (R2 = .64), Eveningness was negatively predicted by age and positively by evening chronotype (R2 = .41), and Distinctness was negatively predicted by sex (women reported higher DI than men) and age (R2 = .08). This study provides evidence for the factor structure of a new measure of Morningness-Eveningness based on a rigorous psychometric evaluation.