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Published August 2009 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

The Allen Telescope Array: The First Widefield, Panchromatic, Snapshot Radio Camera for Radio Astronomy and SETI


The first 42 elements of the Allen Telescope Array (ATA-42) are beginning to deliver data at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory in northern California. Scientists and engineers are actively exploiting all of the flexibility designed into this innovative instrument for simultaneously conducting surveys of the astrophysical sky and conducting searches for distant technological civilizations. This paper summarizes the design elements of the ATA, the cost savings made possible by the use of commercial off-the-shelf components, and the cost/performance tradeoffs that eventually enabled this first snapshot radio camera. The fundamental scientific program of this new telescope is varied and exciting; some of the first astronomical results will be discussed.

Additional Information

© 2009 IEEE. Manuscript received November 11, 2008; revised February 6, 2009. Current version published July 15, 2009. This work was supported in part by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation under Grant 5784, the National Science Foundation under Grants 0540599, and 0540690, Nathan Myhrvold, Greg Papadopoulos, Xilinx Inc., the SETI Institute, the University of California, Berkeley, and other private and corporate donors. During the initial technology development phase of the ATA project, the ATA Technical Advisory Panel served as an excellent source of guidance and information. the authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of B. Clark (NRAO), H. Davidson (Sun Microsystems), R. Ekers (ATNF), J. Gosling (Sun Microsystems), P. Horowitz (Harvard), P. Napier (NRAO), J. O'Sullivan (ATNF), P. St.-Hilaire, L. Scheffer (Cadence, Inc.), and A. van Ardenne (ASTRON). Additional assistance was provided by K. Johnston (USNO).

Attached Files

Published - Welch2009p5126P_Ieee.pdf

Submitted - 0904.0762.pdf


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