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The Commensal Real-time ASKAP Fast Transients Survey

PIs: Keith Bannister (CASS), Jean-Pierre Macquart (ICRAR/Curtin) & Ryan Shannon (Swinburne)

CRAFT is the high-time resolution survey for fast radio transients on the 36-element, 30 deg2 field of view Australian SKA Pathfinder.  Its aim is to survey the Universe for impulsive astrophysical phenomena at radio frequencies between about 700 and 1500 MHz.  A particular target of interest is the newly-discovered class of highly-luminous Fast Radio Bursts.  The cause of FRB emission is a topic of hot debate, as are their progenitor objects.  FRBs occur at cosmological distances , and their radiation, which is subject to dispersion by the tenuous matter in the ionized Inter-Galactic Medium, hold the potential to probe the structure, physical properties and evolution of the IGM in a manner that has not previously been possible.


ASKAP undertaking CRAFT observations in Fly’s Eye mode. Image credit: Rob Hollow (CASS)

Technical specifications

  • 1 ms time resolution
  • 1 MHz spectral resolution across 336 MHz
  • Total powers are searched from each of the phased array feed (PAF) beams from each telescope.  The telescopes can be operated in either fly’s eye mode (to achieve a total field of view of N x 30 sq.deg. with N antennas), or a collimated incoherent mode in which all antennas target a common pointing centre
  • New: buffers within the PAF beamformers implement a voltage capture mode for all bursts detected in real time.  This feeds the interferometric localisation pipeline.

Parkes searches for repeating CRAFT Fast Radio Bursts

Useful related papers and talks:

Macquart et al., The Commensal Real-Time ASKAP Fast-Transients (CRAFT) Survey, PASA, 2010, 27, 272-282

Bannister et al. 2017, The Detection of an Extremely Bright Fast Radio Burst in a Phased Array Feed Survey, ApJ Lett, 841, L12

CRAFT Reborn talks at ASKAP 2016: The future of radio astronomy surveys  by Keith Bannister & Jean-Pierre Macquart: part 1 and part 2

CRAFT update at Aspen Center for Physics conference on Fast Radio Bursts: New Probes of Fundamental Physics and Cosmology


For enquiries about CRAFT contact either Keith Bannister or Jean-Pierre Macquart

Active CRAFT members

Number of CRAFT FRBs detected to date: 026

Number of CRAFT FRBs with arcsecond localisations: 000