ASKAP Science

An artist’s impression of a double pulsar system. Credit: John Rowe Animations/CSIRO.

ASKAP's wide field-of-view, large spectral bandwidth, fast survey speed, excellent u-v coverage, southern hemisphere location and radio quiet site will make it an unprecedented synoptic telescope. These unique features will allow ASKAP to make substantial advances in key areas of SKA science, including:

  • Galaxy formation and gas evolution in the nearby Universe through extragalactic HI surveys
  • Evolution, formation and population of galaxies across cosmic time via high resolution, confusion limited, continuum surveys
  • Characterisation of the radio transient sky through detection and monitoring (including VLBI) of transient and variable sources, and
  • Evolution of magnetic fields in galaxies over cosmic time through polarization surveys.


ASKAP Early Science Program

In May 2013, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science announced its intention to develop an early science program for ASKAP. The ASKAP Early Science is a program of observations designed to explore new scientific parameters with ASKAP before the construction of the array is complete, and also to produce scientifically useful data.

It will commence when an array of twelve ASKAP antennas fitted with CSIRO's Mk II phased array feeds (the instrument known as ASKAP-12) has been commissioned and scientifically verified. Early science observations will be carried out in parallel with the deployment of the Mk II phased array feeds on further ASKAP antennas.


The latest version of the ASKAP Early Science Program (v1.1, September 2015) incorporates the early science software pipeline, a new baseline description of the program, FAQs and an estimate of likely observing time available for early science observations.

ASKAP Early Science Community Workshops

The first ASKAP Early Science Workshop [announcement, PDF file] was held in 2013. Presentations covering a broad range of scientific interests described some of the ground-breaking scientific questions that could be addressed using ASKAP’s 12-antenna array.

The next ASKAP Early Science Community Workshop will be held on Thursday 8 October 2015 at the ATNF headquarters in Marsfield (Sydney). To attend this workshop, please register here.


ASKAP Science Publications

There are a number of ways to discover ASKAP science papers:


ASKAP Survey Science Projects

During ASKAP’s first five years of operation at least 75% of its time will be used for large Survey Science Projects, each needing more than 1,500 hours to complete and all designed to make use of the telescope’s unique capabilities.

In September 2009 CSIRO announced that ten major science projects, representing 363 investigators from 131 institutions, had been selected to use ASKAP. An international panel of astronomers, chaired by SKA Project Scientist Joe Lazio, advised the ATNF Director on the selection of projects based on their scientific merit and operational feasibility. Of the ten projects’ authors, 33% were from Australia and New Zealand, 30% from North America, 28% from Europe, and 9% from elsewhere in the world.

The ten ASKAP Survey Science Projects are:

  • Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU)
  • Widefield ASKAP L-Band Legacy All-Sky Blind Survey (WALLABY)
  • The First Large Absorption Survey in HI (FLASH)
  • An ASKAP Survey for Variables and Slow Transients (VAST)
  • The Galactic ASKAP Spectral Line Survey (GASKAP)
  • Polarization Sky Survey of the Universe's Magnetism (POSSUM)
  • The Commensal Real-time ASKAP Fast Transients survey (CRAFT)
  • Deep Investigations of Neutral Gas Origins (DINGO)
  • The High Resolution Components of ASKAP: Meeting the Long Baseline Specifications for the SKA (VLBI)
  • Compact Objects with ASKAP: Surveys and Timing (COAST).


Read more on the ASKAP Survey Science Projects.

Further Information



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