The challenges of low-frequency radio polarimetry: Lessons from the Murchison widefield array

E. Lenc, C. S. Anderson, N. Barry, Judd Bowman, I. H. Cairns, J. S. Farnes, B. M. Gaensler, G. Heald, M. Johnston-Hollitt, D. L. Kaplan, C. R. Lynch, P. I. McCauley, D. A. Mitchell, J. Morgan, M. F. Morales, Tara Murphy, A. R. Offringa, S. M. Ord, B. Pindor, C. RiseleyE. M. Sadler, C. Sobey, M. Sokolowski, I. S. Sullivan, S. P. O’Sullivan, X. H. Sun, S. E. Tremblay, C. M. Trott, R. B. Wayth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


We present techniques developed to calibrate and correct Murchison Widefield Array low-frequency (72–300 MHz) radio observations for polarimetry. The extremely wide field-of-view, excellent instantaneous (u, v)-coverage and sensitivity to degree-scale structure that the Murchison Widefield Array provides enable instrumental calibration, removal of instrumental artefacts, and correction for ionospheric Faraday rotation through imaging techniques. With the demonstrated polarimetric capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array, we discuss future directions for polarimetric science at low frequencies to answer outstanding questions relating to polarised source counts, source depolarisation, pulsar science, low-mass stars, exoplanets, the nature of the interstellar and intergalactic media, and the solar environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere040
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
StatePublished - 2017


  • Polarization
  • Radio continuum: general
  • Techniques: polarimetric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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