2018 MWA Project Meeting Held in SHAO
The 2018 MWA Project Meeting was held successfully from June 10 to June 13 at Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (SHAO), led by MWA Observatory and organized by SHAO, with supports from MWA Observatory, Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, SKA China Office, and Chinese Academy of Science. Around 70 participants from China, Australia, the United States, Japan and other MWA Partner Institutions, including MWA Board Members, the Director of MWA Management Group, Academician Xiangping Wu and Academician Shuhua Ye, attended this conference.
Director Zhiqiang Shen gave the greeting speech first to welcome experts and scholars from all over the world. Professor Xiaoyu Hong gave an introduction of the historical development, key research areas and achievements of SHAO. MWA Board Chair George Heald, the Executive Director of Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA) Steven Tingay, MWA Director Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, MWA Program Manager Tom Booler, MWA Principal Engineer Randall Wayth and MWA Principal Scientist Adam Beardsley reported respectively on latest developments of the MWA program, engineering and scientific achievements.
Updates and prospects from four key science objectives of MWA, namely the studies of the epoch of reionization (EoR), Galactic and extragalactic (GEG), time domain astrophysics (transients), and solar heliosphere and ionosphere (SHI), and also Pulsar science were introduced and discussed by theme leaders. Experts and scholars presented and discussed further regarding various advanced MWA scientific and engineering topics, and collaborations are expected to follow. During the meeting, Prof. Tao An introduced the preparatory work of the China SKA Regional Centre, and demonstrated the prototype system of the data center. Many foreign users expressed strong interests in using this data processing equipment. Within these few days, the initial deployment of data processing software has been started, and a preliminary collaboration scheme for EoR, continuum survey, and pulsar science has been formulated.
The MWA Project Meeting of 2018 allowed participants to be updated with information of the program from various aspects and highlights from research, and to promote communication and collaboration. On the basis of it, wider and deeper international collaboration, cutting-edge scientific research accomplishments and technology breakthrough towards SKA are prospected, which further accelerates the progress of Chinese SKA Science team construction and China SKA Regional Centre.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a low-frequency radio telescope located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia. It is one of the Precursors of SKA. Shanghai Astronomical Observatory has joined as a partner institution of MWA Phase II, and Academician Xiangping Wu and Professor Xiaoyu Hong are both MWA Board Members. China's participation in MWA international collaboration will help to cultivate talents of scientific data processing, data analysis and research, and to make better preparation for SKA1 Science and big data challenges as well as China SKA Regional Centre.