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We present a calibration component for the Murchison Widefield Array All-Sky Virtual Observatory (MWA ASVO) utilising a newly developed PostgreSQL database of calibration solutions. Since its inauguration in 2013, the MWA has recorded over 34 petabytes of data archived at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre. According to the MWA Data Access policy, data become publicly available 18 months after collection. Therefore, most of the archival data are now available to the public. Access to public data was provided in 2017 via the MWA ASVO interface, which allowed researchers worldwide to download MWA uncalibrated data in standard radio astronomy data formats (CASA measurement sets or UV FITS files). The addition of the MWA ASVO calibration feature opens a new, powerful avenue for researchers without a detailed knowledge of the MWA telescope and data processing to download calibrated visibility data and create images using standard radio astronomy software packages. In order to populate the database with calibration solutions from the last 6 yr we developed fully automated pipelines. A near-real-time pipeline has been used to process new calibration observations as soon as they are collected and upload calibration solutions to the database, which enables monitoring of the interferometric performance of the telescope. Based on this database, we present an analysis of the stability of the MWA calibration solutions over long time intervals.
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.
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