Considerations for a Multi-beam Multi-purpose Survey with FAST [IMA]

Having achieved ‘first-light’ right before the opening ceremony on September 25, 2016, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) is being busily commissioned. Its innovative design requires ~1000 points to be measured and driven instead of just the two axes of motion, e.g. Azimuth and Elevation for most of the conventional antennae, to realize pointing and tracking. We have devised a survey plan to utilized the full sensitivity of FAST, while minimizing the complexities in operation the system. The 19-beam L band focal plan array will be rotated to specific angles and taking continuous data streams while the surface shape and the focal cabin stay fixed. Such a survey will cover the northern sky in about 220 full days. Our aim is to obtain data for pulsar search, HI (neutral hydrogen) galaxies, HI imaging, and radio transients, simultaneously, through multiple backends. These data sets could be a significant contribution to all related fields in radio astronomy and remain relevant for decades.

Read this paper on arXiv…

D. Li, P. Wang, L. Qian, et. al.
Tue, 13 Feb 18

Comments: 10 pages, 5 figures, A Commensal Radio Astronomy FAST Survey Plan (CRAFTS ), accepted by IEEE