Murchison Widefield Array Epoch of Reionization Archive

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) Epoch of Reionization (EOR) Archive will store low frequency radio interferometer data collected over two years at the remote MWA site near Boolardy, WA. The VicNode archive would serve as computational staging facility to allow more efficient access to Victorian HPC facilities for Victorian and other Australian researchers to process the raw MWA data. It would also store the processed MWA images which would be of greatest interest to the broader Australian astronomical community. This dataset will be of particular significance in light of: Pioneering Scientific Value: The primary goal of the EOR experiment is the statistical detection of neutral hydrogen in the early universe. Such a detection would open a new observational window for cosmology and give a glimpse of the formation of the first stars and galaxies. Complementary Science: The archive data will be applicable to a wide range of other astronomical observations and will offer a unique discovery space both due to the unprecedented sensitivities at low radio frequencies as well as the ability to study objects in the time domain afforded by repeated observations of the EOR fields. Uniqueness: The MWA has been largely designed and is specifically situated in a pristine radio environment in order to collect EOR data. The only way to reproduce the data would be to repeat the observation, requiring at least two years in additional to significant human effort and operational funding Legacy Value: The EOR dataset will retain particular relevance in light of Australia’s commitment to build the ~$100M SKA-low, a next generation low frequency radio interferometer to be situated on the same site as the MWA. The EOR dataset will be a unique and invaluable resource which can be used to inform and validate numerous aspects of the design of this future national facility.