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Proceedings Paper

Commensal low frequency observing on the NRAO VLA: VLITE status and future plans
Author(s): Tracy E. Clarke; Namir E. Kassim; Walter Brisken; Joseph Helmboldt; Wendy Peters; Paul S. Ray; Emil Polisensky; Simona Giacintucci
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Paper Abstract

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory's 27 antenna Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (NRAO VLA) has been successfully transitioned to a broadband system. As part of this transition, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) worked with NRAO to develop, install, and commission a new commensal low frequency system on the VLA. The VLA Low-band Ionosphere and Transient Experiment (VLITE) has dedicated samplers and uses spare NRAO optical fibers to transmit the signal from 10 low band receivers on VLA antennas to a dedicated real-time DiFX correlator. For these 10 antennas, this observing mode provides simultaneous data from both the low frequency receivers through the VLITE correlator and from the VLA higher frequencies receivers (1􀀀50 GHz) through the NRAO WIDAR correlator. During the first 1.5 years of operation, VLITE recorded data at roughly 70% wall-time, providing 64 MHz of bandwidth centered at 352 MHz with 2s sample time and 100 kHz spectral resolution. VLITE operations require no additional resources from the VLA system and greatly expand the capabilities of the VLA through value-added PI science, stand-alone astrophysics, the opening of a new window on transient searches, and serendipity. We present an overview of the VLITE program, discuss the sky coverage and depth obtained during the first 1.5 years of operation, and brie y outline a possible path forward to a full 27 antenna LOw Band Observatory (LOBO) which could run commensally with all VLA operations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 August 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9906, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI, 99065B (8 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233036
Show Author Affiliations
Tracy E. Clarke, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Namir E. Kassim, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Walter Brisken, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Joseph Helmboldt, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Wendy Peters, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Paul S. Ray, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Emil Polisensky, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Simona Giacintucci, Univ. of Maryland (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9906:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI
Helen J. Hall; Roberto Gilmozzi; Heather K. Marshall, Editor(s)

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