The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a next-generation radio telescope about to commence operations in outback Australia. ASKAP's large instantaneous field-of-view allows it to survey the sky vastly faster than is possible with existing radio telescopes, allowing us to address fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the Universe.
The "Polarisation Sky Survey of the Universe's Magnetism" (POSSUM) is one of the eight major surveys to be undertaken on ASKAP. POSSUM will be a continuum polarisation survey of the entire sky south of +30 degrees, covering the frequency range 1130-1430 MHz to an RMS sensitivity of 10 μJy/beam at 10-arcsec resolution. The main result will be a catalogue of Faraday rotation measures (RMs) for around a million extragalactic radio sources at a density of approximately 25 RMs per deg^2. This data set will allow us to determine the 3D geometry of the Milky Way's magnetic field, to test dynamo and other models for magnetic field generation, and to carry out a comprehensive census of magnetic fields as a function of redshift in galaxies, in clusters and in the overall intergalactic medium.
- POSSUM Principal Investigators: Bryan Gaensler, Naomi McClure-Griffiths, George Heald, Russ Taylor.
- Popular article on POSSUM published in Cosmos magazine
- POSSUM Newsletters (issued quarterly)
- Full list of POSSUM team members
- One page summary of POSSUM proposal (note that POSSUM-Deep and POSSUM-Diffuse have not been approved for a Design Study)
- 2010 AAS presentation on POSSUM, and PDF file of associated poster
- Other ASKAP surveys:
- Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU)
- An ASKAP Survey for Variables and Slow Transients (VAST)
- The Galactic ASKAP Spectral Line Survey (GASKAP)
- Widefield ASKAP L-Band Legacy All-Sky Blind Survey (WALLABY)
- Deep Investigation of Neutral Gas Origins (DINGO)
- The First Large Absorption Survey in HI (FLASH)
- The Commensal Real-time ASKAP Fast Transients survey (CRAFT)
- The High Resolution Components of ASKAP: Meeting the Long Baseline Specifications for the SKA (VLBI)
- Compact Objects with ASKAP: Surveys and Timing (COAST)