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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.
It is well established that political parties play a key role as gatekeepers to elected office. This article explores the local determinants of a diverse candidate pool. In particular, we seek to uncover the district- or riding-specific party factors that are related to women's participation in the parties’ candidate nomination stages. That is, why do some nomination races in a party have no women contestants, while others have many? Using data from an original survey of party constituency association presidents, as well as extensive nomination data from Elections Canada, we demonstrate that a number of local factors are related to the presence of women contesting a party's nomination. Local party associations with a woman serving as president, as well as associations that hold earlier and longer nominations, are significantly more likely to see a woman enter the contest. The results are important since they call attention to what parties do at the grassroots level, as well as highlight practical solutions for parties seeking to have more diversity in their candidate pool.
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 cases of non-fatal self-harm, suicide notes are a major risk factor for repeated self-harm and suicide. Suicide notes can now be left on new media services, emails or text messages, as well as on paper.
In a group of people who had harmed themselves, we aimed to compare new media note-leavers with paper note-leavers and characterise these groups demographically and by risk factors.
Clinical notes of patients who presented with non-fatal self-harm to two London emergency departments were anonymously searched for mentions of new media use. These were categorised and risk factors were compared for those who had left a new media note, a paper note, or no note to establish differences in risk of note-leaving.
New media note-leaving was associated with younger age and substance use; both risk factors for repeated self-harm. However, suicidal intent remained highest in paper note-leavers.
Paper note-leavers remain at greatest risk, however new media note leaving is still correlated with risk factors related to repeated self-harm and suicide. Clinicians should enquire about new media use during emergency department assessments of self-harm.
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.
Political parties have long been identified as critical players in Canadian democracy. In this address I focus on the activities of parties at the constituency level arguing that this is crucial to fully understanding many important questions in Canadian political science. By way of example, using data relating to the 2015 federal election, I argue that examining the relative vitality of local party associations in the period between election campaigns assists in a fuller understanding of election outcomes and that examining local party nomination dynamics is key to understanding the underrepresentation of women in the candidate pool and ultimately in the House of Commons.
While the negative campaigning literature has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years, the precise targets of campaign negativity have not been fully explored, as candidates and their parties are largely treated as the same target. Likewise, although scholars are increasingly writing about the personalization of politics, this literature has not considered whether parties can “personalize” their opponents by focusing their messaging and attacks more on individual leaders than the parties they lead. In an attempt to bridge the gap between these two literatures, we develop the concept of negative personalization. Negative personalization, as we define it, is an emphasis on opposing party leaders in campaign communication more so than on the parties that they lead. Exploring recent election campaigns in Canada's largest province, we document the extent to which parties engage in negative personalization and suggest hypotheses for the factors leading to increased negative personalization.
Recent literature has renewed interest in the stratarchical model of intraparty decision-making. In this version of party organization, the functions performed by parties are distributed among their discrete levels. The result is a power-sharing arrangement in which no group has control over all aspects of party life. Thus, the model potentially provides an antidote to the hierarchical version of organization. This article examines the principal parties in Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand to test whether there is empirical evidence of stratarchy. An examination of candidate nomination, leadership selection and policy development finds strong evidence of shared authority between both levels of the party in key areas of intraparty democracy. Both levels accept that they cannot achieve their goals without the support of the other and so a fine balancing act ensues, resulting in constant recalibration of power relations. There is, however, little evidence of the commonly presented model of stratarchy as mutual autonomy for each level within discrete areas of competency. Instead, both the party on the ground and in the centre share authority within all three areas, resulting in a pattern of mutual interdependence rather than mutual autonomy.
Glyphosate is used in the transition zone to control annual bluegrass in fully dormant warm-season grasses. A suspected resistant (R) biotype of annual bluegrass was identified on a golf course in South Carolina after at least 10 consecutive years of glyphosate application. Greenhouse bioassays revealed the R biotype was 4.4-fold resistant to glyphosate compared with a standard susceptible (S) biotype. Further studies were conducted to investigate the mechanism conferring glyphosate resistance in the R biotype. Leaf discs of both biotypes accumulated shikimate in response to increasing glyphosate concentration, but the glyphosate concentration resulting in 50% EPSP synthase inhibition as a result of shikimate accumulation (I50) was 4.2-fold higher in the R biotype compared with the S biotype. At the whole plant level, similar levels of shikimate accumulation were observed between biotypes at 6 and 24 h after treatment (HAT) with glyphosate, but greater shikimate accumulation occurred in the S biotype at 72, 120, and 168 HAT. Shikimate levels decreased in the R biotype after 72 HAT. There were no differences in 14C-glyphosate absorption between biotypes. However, more 14C-glyphosate translocated out of the treated leaf in the R biotype and into root tissues over time compared with the S biotype. Partial sequencing of the EPSP synthase gene revealed a point mutation that resulted in an Ala substitution at Pro106. Although other mechanisms may contribute to glyphosate resistance, these results confirm a Pro106 to Ala substitution is associated with resistance to glyphosate in the R annual bluegrass biotype.
Annual bluegrass is one of the most diverse plant species in the world and is the most problematic winter annual weed in commercial turfgrass. Continuous application of the same herbicide mechanism of action for annual bluegrass control on golf courses has increased herbicide-resistant populations. The purpose of this research was to simulate six herbicide-use strategies to evaluate the risk of annual bluegrass resistance evolution to glyphosate. In a worst-case scenario of yearly glyphosate applications at dormancy, resistance evolved within 10 yr and was predicted to evolve in > 90% of populations by yr 20. When glyphosate was rotated on alternate years with a unique mechanism of action, resistance was delayed for 12 to 15 yr. Season-long control of annual bluegrass often requires multiple herbicide applications. Therefore, additional strategies were simulated in which glyphosate was applied at dormancy with combinations of PRE and/or POST herbicides at various timings. Resistance was most effectively delayed with a PRE application in late summer, a POST application in fall, and alternating glyphosate with a different POST option at dormancy. This delayed resistance by 25 yr and a 35% risk was predicted after 50 yr. Strategies utilizing three annual herbicide applications with unique mechanisms of action were more effective for controlling population growth compared to other strategies. Resistance was predicted to evolve within 35 yr for each of the strategies simulated. However, these results indicate annual bluegrass herbicide resistance can be managed by using an integrated herbicide program, rotating unique mechanisms of action as frequently as possible.
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.
Acetolactate synthase–- (ALS-) inhibiting herbicides are frequently used to control annual bluegrass in managed turfgrass systems. Recently, the number of annual bluegrass populations resistant to these herbicides has increased on golf courses. Previous research involving annual bluegrass resistance to ALS inhibitors has included elucidating the mechanism of resistance and in vivo response of ALS to ALS-inhibiting herbicides. The purpose of this research was to generate baseline information on enzymatic parameters of resistant (R) and susceptible (S) annual bluegrass biotypes and further distinguish these biotypes by comparing vegetative growth and reproductive characteristics. The R biotype contained a mutation in the ALS gene resulting in a Trp574 to Leu amino acid substitution. Compared to the S biotype, the R biotype exhibited a 27- and 10-fold resistance to trifloxysulfuron at the whole-plant level and under in vitro conditions, respectively. No significant differences were observed in substrate concentration at one-half maximum rate of enzyme activity (pyruvate) or extractable ALS activity between biotypes, but the maximum rate of enzyme activity was higher for the R biotype. The feedback inhibition of ALS activity by the branched-chain amino acids was higher for the R biotype than the S biotype, with leucine, valine, and isoleucine inhibiting ALS activity 20, 6, and 4% more in the R biotype, respectively. The R biotype produced more inflorescences and seeds per plant in comparison with the S biotype, but relative growth rates between biotypes were similar at all harvest intervals. Our research provides baseline information regarding ALS enzyme response, vegetative growth, and reproductive characteristics of annual bluegrass biotypes resistant and susceptible to ALS-inhibiting herbicides.
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.