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Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy

Curtin Institute for Radio Astronomy

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Article in Australian Physics on SKA-low and the MWA

An article by Profs. Steven Tingay and Peter Hall in the Nov/Dec issue of Australian Physics (the magazine of the Australian Institute of Physics) discusses SKA-low, the low frequency portion of the SKA that will be coming to Western Australia. SKA-low will eventually contain millions of individual low frequency antennas, scattered over hundreds of kilometres and will probe structure formation in the early Universe. The first step to SKA-low in Western Australia is the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and the article discusses the MWA within the SKA-low context.
Full article (download)

Academic and Industry cooperation in radio astronomy: a case study from the Murchison Widefield Array

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) has recently reached the point of practical completion and has been formally launched. One of the strategies employed in the delivery of the MWA has been a close engagement between the MWA team at Curtin University and a small high-tech company based in Fremantle, Poseidon Scientific Instruments (PSI: now an operating unit of Raytheon Australia). Successful academic/industry partnerships are relatively rare in radio astronomy, but will be critical in delivery of the SKA. Thus, a case study of the MWA/PSI engagement has been written and is provided here. The case study discussed the lessons learned from the engagement and makes some recommendations on how similar engagements could be structured for the much larger SKA.
Full article (download)

Prof Tingay

New radio telescope could save world billions: Murchison Widefield Array telescope complete after eight years

Full story

Scientists and industry seek the first stars and galaxies

A quest to discover the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang is underway with the first major pieces of a revolutionary new radio telescope built in remote Western Australia.
Full story

Curtin honours the inventor of WiFi technology

Curtin University has recognised Dr John O’Sullivan’s ground breaking work in astronomy and wireless technologies by bestowing him with an Honorary Doctorate of Science.
Full story

Overview of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) by Curtin’s Professor Peter Hall and colleagues (reprinted from the URSI Radio Science Bulletin). Download here. [871 kB]

Square Kilometre Array announcement

"The Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA) welcomes the news that the SKA Project will have sites in both Western Australia and Southern Africa. CIRA has an outstanding record in international and national collaborations, via links such as our Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) precursor and new-generation Aperture Array partnerships. CIRA is Curtin's link with the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, a joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia. We are proud to have helped bring the SKA to Australia and we look forward to working with our partners to make the telescope a reality. Congratulations to all those in Australia, South Africa and the many other nations who have worked so hard to bring the project to this exciting point."

Profs. Peter Hall and Steven Tingay, CIRA Co-Directors



Do you wonder about our place in the universe? Would you like to find out how stars really work or learn about the wonderfully bizarre features of our local or not so local planets? Do you imagine wrestling with the complexity of the space-time continuum? If so, then you can make an excellent start by enrolling in the Astronomy degree through the Department of Imaging and Applied Physics at Curtin University.


The Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA) concentrates its research effort into a range of projects in the area of radio astronomy, including aspects of next generation telescopes such as the MWA and ASKAP as well as the Square Kilometre Array at the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory. CIRA are heavy users of Australia Telescope National Facility instruments such as Parkes and the Australia Telescope Compact Array, for projects including Very Long Baseline Interferometry, studies of active galactic nuclei and radio galaxies, transient radio phenomena, and pulsars. Undergraduate and postgraduate (Masters and PhD) projects are available in a wide variety of radio astronomy research areas. CIRA maintains a 20 node (dual-processor, quad-core machines = 160 core) parallel computer dedicated to data processing, with approximately 100 TB of data storage space.


Curtin activities in radio astronomy have a strong engineering component, including the design and prototyping of new instrumentation for antennas and in digital signal processing. The Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy has established a fully equipped radio astronomy engineering laboratory that will be used for engineering research that feeds into the research and teaching programs. Strong links between the teaching, research and engineering aspects of radio astronomy ensure that undergraduate and postgraduate students are fully exposed to all aspects of modern radio astronomy. Projects are available to students interested in postgraduate study in engineering within CIRA.