ATNF Scientific Support for Observers

We offer a range of support to all ATNF observers and enhanced support for visiting ATNF observers:

  • ATNF support staff
  • ATCA duty astronomers
  • ATCA friends (for visiting observers)
  • Parkes observing support
  • ATNF staff collaborators


Since 1 Oct 2014, by default all observations are carried from the Science Operations Centre (SOC) at the ATNF Headquarters in Marsfield, Sydney, unless experienced observers have requested and received permission to observe remotely (eg, from their home institute) in a timely manner. The ATCA Observing Portal serves to book the observing sessions (please book two weeks prior to the scheduled time) and register as observer in charge when starting the booked session.

ATNF support staff

Assistance from local ATNF staff is provided upon arrival at the ATNF Headquarters in Marsfield, Sydney. Local staff will familiarise new observers with the telescope and the observing software, as well as assisting with setting up the telescope and with any technical difficulties that arise during the observations. For some technically difficult proposals, local staff may be involved with preparations prior to arrival at the telescope.

ATCA duty astronomers

The ATCA Duty Astronomer (DA) is generally based at the SOC, but can be located in Perth or at the ATCA. DAs will help in the setup of ATCA observations and with any problems arising during the observations. The DA is not required to help with the ATCA observations.

ATCA friends

Observing projects scheduled on the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) can be allocated an ATCA friend to provide assistance to visiting observers. The ATCA friend is usually a member of the ATNF Science Group. For proposals with ATNF co-authors, these are also the ATCA friends.

ATCA friends will help visiting observers - not remote observers - during the period of their stay at the ATNF Headquarters. In particular, they will

  • help with the preparation/checking of schedule files,
  • provide assistance with the data reduction (calibration, imaging, etc.), and
  • introduce visitors to the site, events and people.

Parkes observing support

First time observers are required to come to the SOC, where they will receive extensive training and assistance with schedule preparation and data reduction.

ATNF staff collaborators

The best outcome for proposers/observers who require an extensive amount of help is often achieved by asking an ATNF staff member to join the collaboration. The System Scientists for each telescope, listed in the call for proposals can provide assistance in identifying potential collaborators.

ATNF Staff Expertise

Listed below are some common techniques, eg. mm- and cm-wave spectral line imaging, employed with the ATNF facilities. An up-to-date list of Astrophysics Group members and their areas of expertise is available, including their contact details. Observers are welcome to email Astrophysics staff for collaborations.


Millimetre Spectral Line: Mark Wieringa
Maxim Voronkov
Millimetre Continuum: Maxim Voronkov
Centimetre Spectral Line: Baerbel Koribalski
Centimetre Continuum: Keith Bannister
Ray Norris
Mark Wieringa
Pulsar Binning: George Hobbs
Simon Johnston
Keith Bannister
Polarization Imaging: Ron Ekers
High Dynamic Range and Widefield Imaging: Mark Wieringa
Spectral Line: Joanne Dawson
Baerbel Koribalski
Polarization and Continuum Imaging: David McConnell
Pulsars: George Hobbs
Simon Johnston
John Sarkissian
  Chris Phillips
Tasso Tzioumis



Page updated: 26-mar-2020 pge