Data speeds power up MWA radio telescope research
- 10 December, 2012 15:19
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) project in Western Australia.
Data processing rates of up to 4 gigabits per second will be realised next year when the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope correlator ramps up from February 2013.
The $51 million MWA project in Western Australia is an international collaboration between 13 universities across Australia, India, New Zealand and the US to construct a low frequency radio telescope as a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world’s largest radio telescope.
MWA director, Professor Steven Tingay, told CIO Australia that data generated by the MWA correlator is being sent down a 10 gigabit per second line to Perth where the data is aggregated into an archive. Researchers will use the MWA project data for different areas of astronomy research.
“The first is to look back into the early stages of the evolution of the universe when the first stars and galaxies were being formed,” he said.
The second area of MWA is doing detailed studies of galaxies while the third area of research will identify the trajectory of solar storms, quadrupling the warning period currently provided by near-earth satellites.
Tingay added that the MWA radio telescope will have an operational life of five to 10 years as once the SKA radio telescope is built, it will be wound down.
As part of the MWA project, Cisco was contracted to provide 10 gigabit Ethernet networking switches, a unified computing system (UCS) and Nexus data centre series switches.
These form part of the MWA correlator which is aggregating and processing volumes of raw radio signals for analysis by Australian radio astronomy experts.
According to Tingay, the vendor was selected because off-the-shelf technology now meets the requirements of radio astronomy.
“It’s often the case that you can go out and buy something rather than go through a lengthy design and prototype cycle to do it yourself,” he said.
“We now do lots of the central signal processing using enterprise servers and central processing unit [CPU] platforms.”
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
Five trends affecting legal CIOs
CIO Roundtable: The changing face of security
Bitcoin malware count soars as cryptocurrency value climbs
Bouncing Back From CIO Unemployment
Union slams latest fibre-to-premise trial in Tasmania
Best Practices in Data Protection Monitoring
This whitepaper discusses best practice in data protection monitoring, with a focus on recoverability and visibility as significant drivers for success. Whether backing up a private cloud or several smaller environments, learn how a unified view is necessary for proactively reporting protection, compliance to auditors, and understanding overall data protection health, performance, and reliability.
2014 Foundations of Pathways | 9 Executive Core Business Competencies
CIOs who want to shift their leadership focus beyond the IT function need to cultivate and emphasise leadership competencies that will equip them to lead effectively at the enterprise level and at the business strategy table.
ERP Selection: Finding the Right Fit
Finding a needle in a hay stack is hard, but the task pales in comparison to finding a specific needle in a pile of needles. Selecting the ideal Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution can feel just as daunting. ERP represents a serious investment for any organisation and is vital to future success. This report explores the strategies organisations are employing to find the right ERP fit that will give them the tools they need to thrive.