My work involves developing software and running simulations for the upcoming Square Kilometre Array radio telescope (SKA). Like many radio telescopes, the SKA will operate as an interferometer to synthesise an effective aperture that can be as large as the longest separation between antennas.
To understand data from a radio interferometer like the SKA, part of my work has been to develop a GPU-accelerated software simulator called OSKAR. The simulator was developed to model the complex time- and frequency-dependent behaviour of beams from aperture arrays (a type of phased array antenna). These effects must be taken into account when producing high dynamic range images of the sky at radio wavelengths.