ARC grant to elevate telescope capabilities for more advanced, astrophysical research

CSIRO telescope
The CSIRO Australia Telescope Compact Array 

A new Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grant will support the upgrade of the CSIRO Australia Telescope Compact Array, thereby strengthening the nation’s capacity for scientific discovery.

Researchers from Western Sydney University have been awarded $530,000 from the ARC, to lead a project that will upgrade the signal processing electronics and double the bandwidth of the telescope which is located near Narrabri, NSW.

Professor Ray Norris from the University’s School of Science will lead the project, in partnership with Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

The academic partners on the project are Curtin University, Swinburne University of Technology, The University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, University of Tasmania, The University of Western Australia and The University of Sydney.

Professor Ray Norris said the project, which has a total value of $2.6 million, will enable Australian researchers to take on more ambitious astrophysical research.

“The upgrades will enable the telescope to study radio counterparts to Gravitational Wave sources, and it will enable it to make detailed observations of initial discoveries made with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder and other Australian telescopes,” said Professor Norris.

“In short, it will significantly enhance the performance of the telescope, and enable the 450 researchers and students who use it each year to make more discoveries, across broad areas of astrophysics.”

Professor Deborah Sweeney, Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice President (Research & Innovation), congratulated the research team for their extensive international collaborations in this exciting field of research.

“LIEF grants build a more knowledgeable and innovative future for Australia and its regions by sharing investments in high-value research facilities and equipment,” said Professor Sweeney.

“Many innovations have emerged from telescopy and astrophysics research and this project reflects Western’s unique strengths in the field.”


17 January 2020

Photo: David Smyth

David Thompson, Research Media Officer