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The Murchison Widefield Array is a low-frequency Square Kilometre Array precursor located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. Primarily designed as an imaging telescope, but with a flexible signal path, the capabilities of this telescope have recently been extended to include off-line incoherent and tied-array beam formation using recorded antenna voltages. This has provided the capability for high-time and frequency resolution observations, including a pulsar science program. This paper describes the algorithms and pipeline that we have developed to form the tied-array beam products from the summation of calibrated signals of the antenna elements, and presents example polarimetric profiles for PSRs J0437-4715 and J1900-2600 at 185 MHz.
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.
A computerized systetn, consisting of a fluorescence x-ray source (Philips), an Si (Li) detector (Ortec), and a mini Computer (Xerox) is currentiy in operation at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Experimentel Pathology Section, for the analysis of trace elements in biological specimens. The elements of interest are Fe, Cu, and Zn for possible significance in the detection and study of cancer. The detection system is being used for comparatively routine analysis of these elements, which are present in blood serum in the ppM range. With appropriate sample preparation techniques, using 1 ml of serum, the limit of detectability for these elements is estimated to be 100 ppB (1 in 107). Further refinement is possible, and research in this direction continues.
Essential variables to consider for an efficient control strategy for invasive plants include dispersion pattern (i.e., satellite or invasion front) and patch expansion rate. These variables were demonstrated for buffelgrass [Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link], a C4 perennial grass introduced from Africa, which has invaded broadly around the world. The study site was along a roadway in southern Arizona (USA). The P. ciliare plant distributions show the pattern of clumping associated with the satellite (nascent foci) colonization pattern (average nearest neighbor test, z-score −47.2, P<0.01). The distance between patches ranged from 0.743 to 12.8 km, with an average distance between patches of 5.6 km. Median patch expansion rate was 271% over the 3-yr monitoring period versus 136% found in other studies of established P. ciliare patches. Targeting P. ciliare satellite patches as a control strategy may exponentially reduce the areal doubling time, while targeting the largest patches may have less effect on the invasion speed.
We present techniques developed to calibrate and correct Murchison Widefield Array low-frequency (72–300 MHz) radio observations for polarimetry. The extremely wide field-of-view, excellent instantaneous (u, v)-coverage and sensitivity to degree-scale structure that the Murchison Widefield Array provides enable instrumental calibration, removal of instrumental artefacts, and correction for ionospheric Faraday rotation through imaging techniques. With the demonstrated polarimetric capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array, we discuss future directions for polarimetric science at low frequencies to answer outstanding questions relating to polarised source counts, source depolarisation, pulsar science, low-mass stars, exoplanets, the nature of the interstellar and intergalactic media, and the solar environment.
The Crab pulsar was first detected soon after the discovery of pulsars, and has long been studied for its unique traits. One of these traits, giant pulses that can be upwards of 1000 times brighter than the average pulse, was key to the Crab’s initial detection. Giant pulses are only seen in a few pulsars, and their energy distributions distinguish them from normal pulsed emission. There have been many studies over a period of decades to measure the power-law slope of these energy distributions, which provide insight into the possible emission mechanism of these giant pulses.
The 42-foot telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory monitors the Crab pulsar on a daily basis. We have single-pulse data dating back to 2012, containing roughly 1,000,000 giant pulses, the largest sample of Crab giant pulses to date. This large set of giant pulses allows us to do a range of science, including pulse-width studies and in-depth studies of giant-pulse energy distributions. The latter are particularly interesting, as close inspection of the high-energy tail of the energy distribution allows us to investigate the detectability of extragalactic giant-pulsing pulsars. Also, by calculating rates from these energy distributions, we may be able to shed light on a possible link between Fast Radio Bursts and giant pulses.
The current generation of experiments aiming to detect the neutral hydrogen signal from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) is likely to be limited by systematic effects associated with removing foreground sources from target fields. In this paper, we develop a model for the compact foreground sources in one of the target fields of the MWA’s EoR key science experiment: the ‘EoR1’ field. The model is based on both the MWA’s GLEAM survey and GMRT 150 MHz data from the TGSS survey, the latter providing higher angular resolution and better astrometric accuracy for compact sources than is available from the MWA alone. The model contains 5 049 sources, some of which have complicated morphology in MWA data, Fornax A being the most complex. The higher resolution data show that 13% of sources that appear point-like to the MWA have complicated morphology such as double and quad structure, with a typical separation of 33 arcsec. We derive an analytic expression for the error introduced into the EoR two-dimensional power spectrum due to peeling close double sources as single point sources and show that for the measured source properties, the error in the power spectrum is confined to high k⊥ modes that do not affect the overall result for the large-scale cosmological signal of interest. The brightest 10 mis-modelled sources in the field contribute 90% of the power bias in the data, suggesting that it is most critical to improve the models of the brightest sources. With this hybrid model, we reprocess data from the EoR1 field and show a maximum of 8% improved calibration accuracy and a factor of two reduction in residual power in k-space from peeling these sources. Implications for future EoR experiments including the SKA are discussed in relation to the improvements obtained.
The Proterozoic Sushina Hill Complex is the only agpaitic complex, reported from India and is characterized by a eudialyte-rinkite-bearing nepheline syenite. The complex is considered a ‘metamorphosed agpaitic complex'. This study describes the mineral assemblages formed during successive stages of evolution from magmatic to hydrothermal stages and low-temperature subsolidus re-equilibration assemblage. The primary-late magmatic assemblage is characterized by albite, orthoclase, unaltered nepheline, zoned diopside-hedenbergite, rinkite, late magmatic eudialyte and magnesio-arfvedsonite formed at ∼700°C with maximum aSiO2 of 0.60. In contrast, a deuteric assemblage (400-348°C) is represented by aegirine-jadeite-rich clinopyroxene, post-magmatic eudialyte, sodalite, analcime and the decomposition assemblages formed after eudialyte with decreasing aSiO2 (0.52-0.48). A further low-temperature subsolidus assemblage (≤250°C) represented by late-forming natrolite could be either related to regressive stages of metamorphism or a continuum of the subsolidus processes. Considering the P/T range of the greenschist - lower-amphibolite facies of metamorphism it is evident that the incorporation of a jadeite component within pyroxene is related to a subsolidus process between ∼400°C and 348°C in a silica deficient environment. We emphasize that the deuteric fluid itself acted as an agent of metamorphism and the decomposition assemblage formed after eudialyte is retained even after metamorphism due to the convergence of subsolidus and metamorphic domains. The formation of jadeite-rich aegirine is not considered to result from metamorphism. Overall it is near-impossible to discern any bona fide metamorphic textures or mineral assemblages in these syenites which appear to preserve a relict mineralogy regardless of their occurrence in country rocks which have experienced greenschist - amphibolite facies metamorphism. The Sushina complex is very similar in this respect to the Norra Kärr complex (Sweden).
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
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.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with elevated risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, the direction of this association is not yet established, as most prior studies employed cross-sectional designs. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate bidirectional associations between PTSD and MetS using a longitudinal design.
A total of 1355 male and female veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan underwent PTSD diagnostic assessments and their biometric profiles pertaining to MetS were extracted from the electronic medical record at two time points (spanning ~2.5 years, n = 971 at time 2).
The prevalence of MetS among veterans with PTSD was just under 40% at both time points and was significantly greater than that for veterans without PTSD; the prevalence of MetS among those with PTSD was also elevated relative to age-matched population estimates. Cross-lagged panel models revealed that PTSD severity predicted subsequent increases in MetS severity (β = 0.08, p = 0.002), after controlling for initial MetS severity, but MetS did not predict later PTSD symptoms. Logistic regression results suggested that for every 10 PTSD symptoms endorsed at time 1, the odds of a subsequent MetS diagnosis increased by 56%.
Results highlight the substantial cardiometabolic concerns of young veterans with PTSD and raise the possibility that PTSD may predispose individuals to accelerated aging, in part, manifested clinically as MetS. This demonstrates the need to identify those with PTSD at greatest risk for MetS and to develop interventions that improve both conditions.
The Automated Patrol Telescope (APT) is a wide-field CCD imaging telescope operated by the University of New South Wales at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. The optical design employed resembles that of a Schmidt, but uses a 3-element lens to achieve a wide, corrected field of view. The APT was developed by extensively modifying the optical, mechanical and electronic systems of a Baker-Nunn satellite tracking camera. Telescope motion and operation of the CCD have been placed under computer control, allowing automated observations for longterm survey and monitoring projects. The APT has 0.5 m aperture f/1 optics which produce a 5° flat field, of which a 2°×3° field is covered by the CCD currently installed. The telescope is being used for studies of stellar activity in open clusters and regions of star formation, and comet and minor planet investigations. A number of other projects for the APT are being considered, including searches for novae, supernovae in clusters of galaxies, and brown dwarfs.
Depression and anxiety disorders are the leading cause of sickness absence and long-term work incapacity in most developed countries. The present study aimed to carry out a systematic meta-review examining the effectiveness of workplace mental health interventions, defined as any intervention that a workplace may either initiate or facilitate that aims to prevent, treat or rehabilitate a worker with a diagnosis of depression, anxiety or both. Relevant reviews were identified via a detailed systematic search of academic and grey literature databases. All articles were subjected to a rigorous quality appraisal using the AMSTAR assessment. Of the 5179 articles identified, 140 studies met the inclusion criteria, of which 20 were deemed to be of moderate or high quality. Together, these reviews analysed 481 primary research studies. Moderate evidence was identified for two primary prevention interventions; enhancing employee control and promoting physical activity. Stronger evidence was found for CBT-based stress management although less evidence was found for other secondary prevention interventions, such as counselling. Strong evidence was also found against the routine use of debriefing following trauma. Tertiary interventions with a specific focus on work, such as exposure therapy and CBT-based and problem-focused return-to-work programmes, had a strong evidence base for improving symptomology and a moderate evidence base for improving occupational outcomes. Overall, these findings demonstrate there are empirically supported interventions that workplaces can utilize to aid in the prevention of common mental illness as well as facilitating the recovery of employees diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety.
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).