The Murchison Widefield Array correlator

Stephen M Ord, Brian Crosse, David Emrich, Dave Pallot, Randall B Wayth, M A Clark, Steven Tremblay, Wayne Arcus, David Graeme Barnes, Martin E Bell, Gianni Bernardi, N D Ramesh Bhat, Julie Bowman, Frank H Briggs, John D Bunton, Roger J Cappallo, Brian E Corey, Avinash Deshpande, Ludi deSouza, Aaron Ewall-WiceLu Feng, Robert F Goeke, Lincoln J Greenhill, Bryna J Hazelton, David Edwin Herne, Jacqueline N Hewitt, Luke Hindson, Natasha Hurley-Walker, Daniel Jacobs, Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, David L Kaplan, Justin C Kasper, Barton B Kincaid, Ronald Koenig, Eric Kratzenberg, Nadia Kudryavtseva, E Lenc, Colin J Lonsdale, Mervyn John Lynch, Benjamin McKinley, Stephen Russell McWhirter, Daniel A Mitchell, Miguel F Morales, Edward H Morgan, Divya Oberoi, Andre R Offringa, Joseph Pathikulangara, Bart Pindor, Thiagaraj Prabu, Pietro Procopio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The Murchison Widefield Array is a Square Kilometre Array Precursor. The telescope is located at theMurchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. The MWA consists of 4 096 dipoles arranged into 128 dual polarisation aperture arrays forming a connected element interferometer that cross-correlates signals from all 256 inputs. A hybrid approach to the correlation task is employed, with some processing stages being performed by bespoke hardware, based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays, and others by Graphics Processing Units housed in general purpose rack mounted servers. The correlation capability required is approximately 8 tera floating point operations per second. The MWA has commenced operations and the correlator is generating 8.3 TB day-1 of correlation products, that are subsequently transferred 700 km from the MRO to Perth (WA) in real-time for storage and offline processing. In this paper, we outline the correlator design, signal path, and processing elements and present the data format for the internal and external interfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 14
Number of pages14
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Issue number006
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • instrumentation
  • interferometers
  • techniques: interferometric

Cite this