The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME)

Prof. Keith Vanderlinde, Dunlap Institute

The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) is an ambitious new project designed to map the distribution of matter in the Universe, over half the sky and a broad swath of cosmic history.

Leveraging recent developments from from the cell phone industry (cheap, low noise amplifiers) and the huge growth in digital processing power, CHIME will be a highly efficient “digital” radio telescope, a many-antenna physically-fixed structure where beams are formed and pointed through digital processing rather than with physically steered dishes or cable delays. CHIME is composed of five 20m x 100m parabolic reflectors which focus radiation in one direction (east-west), while interferometry is used to resolve beams in the other (north-south), and earth rotation is used to sweep them across the sky.

We’ll discuss the theory, design, and progress on the myriad components which make up CHIME, to try and convince everyone of the tremendous potential of this new class of telescope.

Prof. Keith Vanderlinde is the newest faculty member to join the Dunlap Institute. He is an experimental cosmologist and long-wavelength instrumentalist. His primary research interest is large-scale structure in the Universe which he studies using the South Pole Telescope and the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment. He is also involved in a Very Long Baseline Interferometry project to study pulsar scintillation using the Algonquin Radio Observatory and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in India.