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What is the Expanded Very Large Array?

by Stephan W. Witz last modified Apr 04, 2012

The EVLA is the product of a program to modernize the electronics of the Very Large Array (VLA) in order to improve several key observational parameters by an order of magnitude or more. Some of the details of the EVLA Project may be found on the web, at http://www.aoc.nrao.edu/evla/. The EVLA is funded jointly by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the Canadian National Research Council, and the CONACyT funding agency in Mexico. Total funding is approximately $94 million in Year 2006 dollars, including $59 million in new NSF funding, $16 million in redistributed effort from the NRAO Operations budget, $17 million for the correlator from Canada, and $2 million from Mexico. The EVLA project will be completed on time and on budget at the end of 2012, 11 years after it began. Its key observational goals are (1) complete frequency coverage from 1 to 50 GHz; (2) continuum sensitivity improvement by up to an order of magnitude (nearly two orders of magnitude in speed) by increasing the bandwidth from the VLA's 100 MHz per polarization to 8 GHz per polarization; and (3) implementation of a new correlator that can process the large bandwidth with a minimum of 16,384 spectral channels per baseline. A comparison of some of the EVLA performance parameters with those of the VLA is provided in Table 1. The remaining major milestones for the EVLA are shown in Table 2.

Note: The "Factor" gives the factor by which the EVLA parameter will be an improvement over the equivalent VLA parameter.