A digital-receiver for the Murchison Widefield Array

Thiagaraj Prabu, K S Srivani, Anish Roshi, P A Kamini, S Madhavi, David Emrich, Brian Crosse, Andrew J Williams, Mark F Waterson, Avinash Deshpande, N Udaya Shankar, Ravi Subrahmanyan, Frank H Briggs, Robert F Goeke, Steven John Tingay, Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, M R Gopalakrishna, Edward H Morgan, Joseph Pathikulangara, John D BuntonGrant Hampson, Christopher L Williams, Stephen M Ord, Randall B Wayth, Deepak Kumar, Miguel F Morales, Ludi deSouza, Eric Kratzenberg, Dave Pallot, Stephen Russell McWhirter, Bryna J Hazelton, Wayne Arcus, David Graeme Barnes, Gianni Bernardi, Tom Booler, Judd D Bowman, Roger J Cappallo, Brian E Corey, Lincoln J Greenhill, David Edwin Herne, Jacqueline N Hewitt, David L Kaplan, Justin C Kasper, Barton B Kincaid, Ronald Koenig, Colin J Lonsdale, Mervyn John Lynch, Daniel A Mitchell, Divya Oberoi, Ronald A Remillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


An FPGA-based digital-receiver has been developed for a low-frequency imaging radio interferometer, the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). The MWA, located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia, consists of 128 dual-polarized aperture-array elements (tiles) operating between 80 and 300 MHz, with a total processed bandwidth of 30.72 MHz for each polarization. Radio-frequency signals from the tiles are amplified and band limited using analog signal conditioning units; sampled and channelized by digital-receivers. The signals from eight tiles are processed by a single digital-receiver, thus requiring 16 digital-receivers for the MWA. The main function of the digital-receivers is to digitize the broad-band signals from each tile, channelize them to form the sky-band, and transport it through optical fibers to a centrally located correlator for further processing. The digital-receiver firmware also implements functions to measure the signal power, perform power equalization across the band, detect interference-like events, and invoke diagnostic modes. The digital-receiver is controlled by high-level programs running on a single-board-computer. This paper presents the digital-receiver design, implementation, current status, and plans for future enhancements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-93
Number of pages21
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Prabu, T., Srivani, K. S., Roshi, A., Kamini, P. A., Madhavi, S., Emrich, D., Crosse, B., Williams, A. J., Waterson, M. F., Deshpande, A., Udaya Shankar, N., Subrahmanyan, R., Briggs, F. H., Goeke, R. F., Tingay, S. J., Johnston-Hollitt, M., Gopalakrishna, M. R., Morgan, E. H., Pathikulangara, J., ... Remillard, R. A. (2015). A digital-receiver for the Murchison Widefield Array. Experimental Astronomy, 39(1), 73-93. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10686-015-9444-3