Allen Telescope Array - Status


Since its inception, the ATA has been a development tool for array technology (specifically, for the Square Kilometer Array). Future progress depends on the technical performance of the sub-array already under construction, and the procurement of additional funding.

The ATA was originally planned to be constructed in four stages, the ATA-42, ATA-98, ATA-206, and ATA-350; each number representing the number of dishes in the array at a given time (See Table 1).

Regular operations with 42 dishes started on 11 October 2007. Funding for building additional antennas is currently being sought by the SETI Institute from various sources, including the US Navy, DARPA, NSF and private donors.

Astronomical data has been acquired since May 2005, utilizing a four-input correlator (four antennas, dual polarization) and then updated in January 2007 with two eight-input (16 antennas, dual polarization). Scientifically useful data has been acquired and is helping commission the array.

Correlator development continued, with deployment of one 32-input correlator in June 2007 and utilized as eight individual correlators with eight dual-polarization inputs each.

Beam-forming electronics utilizing the Berkeley Emulation Engine 2 (BEE2) were deployed in June 2007 and have been integrated into the system to allow for simultaneous astronomical and SETI observations. As of April 2008, the first pulsar observations have been conducted using the beamformer and a purpose-built pulsar spectrometer.

In May 2009, UC Berkeley announced it was performing all-sky surveys using the Allen Telescope Array.

The ATA Team reported initial results from their survey of the Galactic Center Region at the June 2009 meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS Meeting #214).

In April 2011, the ATA was placed in hibernation mode due to funding shortfalls, meaning that it was no longer available for use. Operation of the ATA resumed on December 5, 2011.

Read more about this topic:  Allen Telescope Array

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