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The MWAX correlator replaces the previous fine PFB, Voltage Capture System (VCS) (and media converter), correlator, and on-site archive of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). All of the fielded instrument hardware (tiles, beamformers, receivers) remains the same, as described in The Murchison Widefield Array: The SKA Low Frequency Precursor by Tingay et al. (2013), and the Phase II description paper: The Phase II Murchison Widefield Array: Design Overview by Wayth et al (2018). The diagram below shows a high level overview of the complete signal chain, including the main MWAX components: Media conversion and Correlator.

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Top-Level Architecture


The 24 coarse channels are processed by 24 GPU-accelerated compute nodes referred to as “MWAX Servers”, with two hot spares.  Each MWAX Server implements the functions shown in the figure above.  The real-time data flows on the MWAX Servers are managed through the use of input and output ring buffers that decouple its computational workflow from the input source and output destinations.  These ring buffers are established and accessed using the open-source ring buffer library “PSRDADA”.


The output visibility modes of MWAX for 128 tiles that run real-time on the as-built MWAX hardware configuration are listed at this page: MWAX Correlator Modes (128T)

Signal Path/Data Flow

In this section we describe the flow of signals from the tiles and receivers to the media converter (Medconv) servers, MWAX Correlator and then into Long Term Storage at the MWA Archive at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.