HI Radio surveys with MeerKAT

Participating Researchers: Erwin de Blok, Renée Kraan-Korteweg, Kurt van der Heyden, Sarah Blyth, Ian Stewart
Current Postdoctoral Fellows: Antoine Bouchard, Benne Holwerda, Se-Heon Oh
Current PhD students: Ed Elson, Viral Parekh
Current Masters Students: Bradley Frank

South Africa is currently building the MeerKAT radio telescope as part of its bid to host the Square Kilometre Array, a 1.5 billion euro international project. UCT has taken the lead in developing the MeerKAT science case for studies of neutral hydrogen in the near and far universe. This will tackle many of the yet outstanding problems in astronomy: What is the nature of dark matter? Where are the missing baryons? How do galaxies evolve? Because of the strong impact that MeerKAT will have on South African astronomy in the next few years, we have listed this research theme separately, but we note that the research described here will permeate and influence many of the themes listed below. MeerKAT's results will drive new research in both astrophysics and cosmology.
Initial simulations of possible MeerKAT surveys are in process to best plan how to focus research once the facility is up and running. New analysis methods (e.g. statistical multiplexing to increase signal-to-noise ratios) are also being tested in preparation for these surveys.