MeerKAT is primarily designed to be a fast survey instrument, and is currently equipped with L-Band receivers that are sensitive to the frequency range 900 to 1670 MHz, and UHF-Band receivers covering the 500 to 1015 MHz frequency range. With a maximum of 8-kilometre baseline, MeerKAT will provide detailed images of the distant Universe with spectacular sensitivity at its frequencies of operation. People in the D-MeerKAT consortium are heavily involved with MeerKAT through several of its Large Survey Projects (LSPs), for example, MIGHTEE, LADUMA, TRAPUM and MALS.
The MPIfR, Bonn has developed the S-Band receivers for the MeerKAT. For a development beyond the current configuration of MeerKAT, the Max-Planck Society together with MT Mechatronics are constructing an SKA prototype antenna (with L, S, and Ku band receivers) that will be available for astronomical observations.
The science goals of D-MeerKAT are designed to develop software and hardware support for the large data sets (tens of PetaBytes) from the MeerKAT, such as, large storage devices and data management, advanced imaging techniques and pipelines, spectral-line analysis, source characterization, time-domain astronomy, and many more.
MPIfR-MT SKA prototype dish
The MPIfR-MT SKA-Prototype dish is a 15-m aperture offset-Gregorian dish constructed by the MT Mechatronics GmbH in collaboration with the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR). This telescope is the first prototype dish of the South African Square Kilometre Array (SKA)-MID component and is currently being assembled in the Karoo desert, South Africa. The telescope is located near the MeerKAT- and SKA-MID-configuration (SKA-TEL-INSA-0000537) and is specially suited for an independent scientific programme. This telescope will be equipped with S- and Ku-Band receiver systems, both developed by the MPIfR, and depending on the scientific merit additional frontends could be installed in the future. The S-Band receiver has a bandwidth of 1.75 GHz covering the frequency range 1.7 to 3.6 GHz, and the Ku-Band receiver covers the 12 to 18 GHz frequency range with 2×3-GHz bandwidth, 12-bit digitizer.
Members of the D-MeerKAT consortium: