The AAMID Consortium, working on the Mid-Frequency Aperture Array (MFAA), an Advanced Instrumentation Work Package, aims to demonstrate the feasibility, competitiveness and cost-effectiveness of MFAA technology for SKA2. The key advantage of AAs is the capability of realising a very large Field of View and sensitivity, which results in an unsurpassed survey speed. Furthermore, AAs are capable of generating multiple independent FoVs, enhancing the efficiency of the system, for calibration and for multiple concurrent observations.
Aperture Array Front-End design for Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
The beamformer network for the MFAA prototype is being investigated further. The testing set up for the beamformer board is shown in Fig. 1. A comprehensive GUI to control the phase and amplitude at the element level (8×8 dual polarised finite array) is under development. For a single channel on the beamformer board, the time delay and amplitude steps have been measured. This is shown in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3.
Figure 1. The testing of the beamformer board for MFAA at the University of Manchester.
Figure 2. The absolute time delay measured at each step on the beamformer chip.