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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.
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.
The legal profession is currently the subject of controversy and criticism. Individual attorneys are often described as unethical and incompetent, while the bar is portrayed as politically partisan, captive of economic interests, and unresponsive to the public interest. Public opinion polls document disrespect for attorneys as a group. Local and national scandals highlight criminal acts of prominent attorneys. The cost, quality, and availability of legal services are matters of public debate.
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.
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 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.
Multi-layer reconstruction has become standard in endoscopic skull base surgery. The inlay component used can vary among autografts, allografts, xenografts and synthetics, primarily based on surgeon preference. The short- and long-term outcomes of collagen matrix in skull base reconstruction are described.
A case series of patients who underwent endoscopic skull base reconstruction with collagen matrix inlay were assessed. Immediate peri-operative outcomes (cerebrospinal fluid leak, meningitis, ventriculitis, intracranial bleeding, epistaxis, seizures) and delayed complications (delayed healing, meningoencephalocele, prolapse of reconstruction, delayed cerebrospinal fluid leak, ascending meningitis) were examined.
Of 120 patients (51.0 ± 17.5 years, 41.7 per cent female), peri-operative complications totalled 12.7 per cent (cerebrospinal fluid leak, 3.3 per cent; meningitis, 3.3 per cent; other intracranial infections, 2.5 per cent; intracranial bleeding, 1.7 per cent; epistaxis, 1.7 per cent; and seizures, 0 per cent). Delayed complications did not occur in any patients.
Collagen matrix is an effective inlay material. It provides robust long-term separation between sinus and cranial cavities, and avoids donor site morbidity, but carries additional cost.
Sodium carbonate is currently being considered as a wash-out reagent for the
removal of the settled solids in the unagitated Highly Active Liquor (HAL)
storage tanks at Sellafield. As the settled solids are expected to comprise
mainly zirconium molybdate (ZM), this will result in a challenging feed to the
Waste Vitrification Plant (WVP) containing high concentrations of both
molybdenum and sodium.
In previous studies, it was shown that at high wash-out waste loadings, i.e. 10
– 12 wt% MoO3 incorporation, there was very little
tolerance in ‘Ca/Zn’ base glass for extra sodium before
the formation of significant separated sodium molybdate salt phase. However,
higher amounts of sodium can be accommodated in borosilicate glasses if the
wash-out waste loading is reduced. Further studies have now been carried out to
investigate the vitrification of more representative calcined waste feeds. Both
pure zirconium molybdate (ZM) and blended ZM-reprocessing waste calcines were
produced from the appropriate liquor feeds. The maximum waste incorporations of
these two calcines in ‘Ca/Zn’ base glass have been
determined, along with a complete product quality assessment. This assessment
included measuring the bulk density, degree of crystallinity, heat treatment,
durability (Soxhlet and PCT), glass transition temperature, and viscosity.
There is limited evidence for effective interventions in the treatment of post-traumatic stress symptoms within individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. Clinicians have concerns about using exposure treatments with this patient group. The current trial was designed to evaluate a 16-session cognitive restructuring programme, without direct exposure, for the treatment of post-traumatic stress symptoms specifically within individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia.
A multicentre randomized controlled single-blinded trial with assessments at 0 months, 6 months (post-treatment) and 12 months (follow-up) was conducted. A total of 61 participants diagnosed with schizophrenia and exhibiting post-traumatic stress symptoms were recruited. Those randomized to treatment were offered up to 16 sessions of cognitive–behaviour therapy (CBT, including psychoeducation, breathing training and cognitive restructuring) over a 6-month period, with the control group offered routine clinical services. The main outcome was blind rating of post-traumatic stress symptoms using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for Schizophrenia. Secondary outcomes were psychotic symptoms as measured by the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale and the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scale.
Both the treatment and control groups experienced a significant decrease in post-traumatic stress symptoms over time but there was no effect of the addition of CBT on either the primary or secondary outcomes.
The current trial did not demonstrate any effect in favour of CBT. Cognitive restructuring programmes may require further adaptation to promote emotional processing of traumatic memories within people diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.
While trauma-focused cognitive–behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is the ‘gold standard’ treatment for pediatric post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), little is known about the neural mechanisms by which TF-CBT produces clinical benefit. Here, we test the hypothesis that PTSD symptom reduction during TF-CBT among adolescent girls with PTSD is associated with changes in patterns of brain functional connectivity (FC) with the amygdala during cognitive reappraisal.
Adolescent girls with PTSD related to physical or sexual assault (n = 34) were enrolled in TF-CBT, delivered in an approximately 12-session format, in an open trial. Before and after treatment, they were engaged in a cognitive reappraisal task, probing neural mechanisms of explicit emotion regulation, during 3 T functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Among adolescent girls completing TF-CBT with usable pre- and post-treatment scans (n = 20), improvements in self-reported emotion from pre- to post-treatment were positively related to improvements in PTSD symptoms. Adolescent girls with greater post-treatment symptom reduction were also able to suppress amygdala–insula FC while re-appraising, which was not evident in girls with less symptom reduction. Pre- to post-treatment changes in right amygdala to left insula FC that scaled with PTSD symptom reduction also scaled with improvements in emotion regulation.
These preliminary results suggest the neurocircuitry mechanisms through which TF-CBT produces clinical outcomes, providing putative brain targets for augmenting TF-CBT response.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
A description is given of a radar facility operating in New Zealand which measures the atmospheric trajectories and hence heliocentric orbits of earth-impacting meteoroids having radiants with declinations +5° < δ < −30° down to a limiting radar meteor magnitude of +13 (corresponding to particle sizes of ~100 μm, masses ~10−6 g). The data handling capacity of the facility permits recording, orbit reduction and efficient presentation of orbital data using graphical packages to be carried out on a routine basis. The daily yield is ~1500 individual orbits with >3×105 secured to date; this is greater than the number determined in all previous meteoroid orbit surveys combined and forms a major southern hemisphere database for dynamical studies of the solar system meteoroid population.
Despite significant research examining mental health in conflict-affected populations we do not yet have a comprehensive epidemiological model of how mental disorders are distributed, or which factors influence the epidemiology in these populations. We aim to derive prevalence estimates specific for region, age and sex of major depression, and PTSD in the general populations of areas exposed to conflict, whilst controlling for an extensive range of covariates.
A systematic review was conducted to identify epidemiological estimates of depression and PTSD in conflict-affected populations and potential predictors. We analyse data using Bayesian meta-regression techniques.
We identified 83 studies and a list of 34 potential predictors. The age-standardised pooled prevalence of PTSD was 12.9% (95% UI 6.9–22.9), and major depression 7.6% (95% UI 5.1–10.9) – markedly lower than estimated in previous research but over two-times higher than the mean prevalence estimated by the Global Burden of Disease Study [3.7% (95% UI 3.0–4.5) and 3.5% (95% UI 2.9–4.2) for anxiety disorders and MDD, respectively]. The age-patterns reveal sharp prevalence inclines in the childhood years. A number of ecological variables demonstrated associations with prevalence of both disorders. Symptom scales were shown to significantly overestimate prevalence of both disorders. Finding suggests higher prevalence of both disorders in females.
This study provides, for the first time, age-specific estimates of PTSD and depression prevalence adjusted for an extensive range of covariates and is a significant advancement on our current understanding of the epidemiology in conflict-affected populations.
Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) is currently building a new kind of general-purpose astronomical facility: a fully robotic network of telescopes of 2m, 1m and 0.4m apertures and homogeneous instrumentation. A pan-network approach to scheduling (rather than per individual telescope) offers redundancy in the event of poor weather or technical failure, as well as the ability to observe a target around the clock. Here we describe the network design and instrumentation under development, together with the main science programmes already being lead by LCOGT staff.