Latest ASKAP News

2018

ASKAP Early Science Cosmology Survey (Image), June 2018
The culmination of the early science program on (ASKAP?) Array Release 2 is a large-area survey dubbed the cosmology survey, as it is intended to test the idea that key parameters of our cosmological models (our understanding of how the universe formed and expanded to the state we find it in today) can be improved by studying the statistical properties of large numbers of galaxies. Read more and see the image here

HIPASS legacy data-set now available through ASKAP’s new archive facility, May 2018
The CASDA team are pleased to announce that HIPASS cubes are now available in the CSIRO ASKAP Science Data Archive (CASDA). CASDA is a collaboration between CASS, CSIRO IM&T, and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, to build a data archive for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). It will provide long term storage for Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) data products, and the hardware and software facilities that enable astronomers to access the data. CASDA will store about 5 PB per year from ASKAP and serve that to astronomers around the world using both virtual observatory (VO) and web-based portal services. Read more

Celebrating National Reconciliation Week, May 2018
This year during National Reconciliation Week all Australians are being invited to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories. Here at CSIRO’s Australian Telescope National Facility (ATNF) we have been working closely with the Wajarri people as part of establishing the site for our new Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in outback Western Australia. Here we share a snapshot of Wajarri history through the story of their struggle to access education during the 1900’s. We also celebrate the Wajarri native title determination of 2017, fill you in on the MRO Indigenous Land Use Agreement and take a look at how CSIRO works with the Wajarri today, to ensure every visitor takes away not only a thing or two about radio astronomy but some knowledge of the history and culture of the ancient land on which we operate our Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope and related facilities read more

Commissioning News, May 2018
The construction of ASKAP is nearing completion with 24 antennas having been handed over for commissioning and integration into the array. The remaining antennas await installation of their digital processing systems, scheduled to occur mid-2018. Delivery of ASKAP's capabilities to the astronomical community will happen in staged "array releases" of increasing scope. Read more

Pawsey funding announcement is good news for ASKAP, April 2018
Pawsey Supercomputing Centre will receive $70 million to procure a replacement for its flagship supercomputer, Magnus, as well as the real-time supercomputer, Galaxy. Both systems, are close to the end of their operational lives. Magnus, a Cray XC40, is considered to be one of the most advanced supercomputers in the southern hemisphere. Galaxy is dedicated to the operational requirements of the SKA pathfinder telescopes, ASKAP and MWA. Read more

WALLABY Survey Science Team (SST) - ASKAP commissioning odyssey, January 2018
The past 17 months of working with ASKAP has been quite the journey! WALLABY SST has taken 700 hours of Early Science data, over four fields and in this article Karen Lee-Waddell tells her story of the adventures in taking and processing this new and exciting data read more 

2017

The Small Magellanic Cloud in one shot with ASKAP, December 2017
The recent release of an image of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) made with data taken from 16 of ASKAP's 36 antennas highlights ASKAP’s great speed and resolution. Read more and see the stunning image here 

Astronomical excursion for Pia Wajarri School, November 2017   
As part of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) between the Australian Government and the traditional owners of the Murchison Radio astronomy Observatory (MRO) site, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science staff members Rob Hollow, Dr Shi Dai and Dr Zoe Taylor travelled to the remote Pia Wajarri Remote Community School and took the students and teachers on tour of ASKAP. Shi, a young astronomer, talked to the students about his career in astronomy and about how stars and galaxies form in the Universe.  Zoe talked about why she’s interested in software engineering and inspired the students talking about her work on the Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope. Zoe also introduced coding to the students with Spheros (the programmable robot). Zoe and Rob used the Sphero robots to demonstrate coding and demonstarted how to write simple programs. The fun really "took-off" when Rob set up the alka-seltzer water rockets and a challenge to see whose could fly theirs the furthest. At the MRO, the students and teachers toured ASKAP and learnt about how the radio dish antennas operate. At the control building, CSIRO’s James Hannah was working on electronics boards and gave the young locals a close-up look at these high-tech components. They headed back to Pia via the MWA and the AAVS1 test array, where they heard all about the world’s biggest telescope, the Square Kilometre Array!

CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS) completes mechanical construction of ASKAP's 36 dish array in WA, November 2017
On Tuesday 21 November, our 36th phased array feed (PAF) receiver was installed on AK #29, marking the completion of the installation of all receivers for ASKAP-36! The innovative PAF receivers on each of ASKAP's 36 antennas enable a large simultaneous field of view at 1.4 GHz. Sixteen of the antennas also have complete digital back-end systems, enabling the delivering of exciting early science results. We expect the full 36-dish array to come online progressively throughout 2018.

Powering up in the outback, September 2017
Working closely with a small Perth-based company Energy Made Clean, or EMC, our engineers and scientists have built the world’s first solar storage system to run a remote radio astronomy site. They built a battery with a shield to ensure it doesn’t interfere with our radio telescopes, allowing us to store the power captured from our 5280 solar panels during the day and use it into the night, switching seamlessly between solar and diesel power as a backup. Read more

ASKAP processing capabilities scaled up, August 2017
To address the growing needs of ASKAP and other telescopes hosted at the Murchison Radio Observatory, Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has commissioned a new storage system specifically for astronomical use. Read more

Ernie Dingo visits our outback astronomy observatory – in his beloved backyard, August 2017
We searched far and wide for a place in Australia to build a world class radio astronomy observatory. The location had to be remote and far from man-made radio interference, to ensure quietness for these instruments to detect radio waves travelling from billions of light years away. It also needed to be somewhere relatively accessible for construction and observatory management. We found the perfect spot in the Murchison area of Western Australia, 700 kilometres northeast of Perth and in traditional Wajarri Yamatji country. It’s now home to our new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope (ASKAP) and the Murchison Widefield Array telescope (MWA) led by Curtin University. It’s also a future site for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – the world’s largest and most ambitious international radio astronomy project ever realised. Wajarri Yamatji Elder and Australian TV personality Ernie Dingo was passing by recently, so we invited him in for a tour and a chat about the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO), situated on his ancestral and beloved homeland. Read more

ASKAP Early Science Data Release, July 2017
CSIRO has made the first public release of ASKAP early science data via CSIRO ASKAP Science Data Archive. We welcome opportunities to collaborate with and receive feedback from the science community. Enquiries can be directed to the ASKAP project scientist atnf-askap-ps@csiro.au or the science team lead investigators. Read more

New Project Scientist for ASKAP, July 2017
ASKAP’s new Project Scientist, Dr Aidan Hotan, talks about his involvement in ASAKP and what the path to full science operations looks like to him. Read more

ASKAP Fast Radio Burst

ASKAP bursts onto the scene, May 2017
CSIRO's Australian Square Kilomtere Array Pathfinder radio telescope (ASKAP) has found its first ‘fast radio burst’ from space after less than four days of searching. The discovery came so quickly that the telescope looks set to become a world champion in this fiercely competitive area of astronomy. Read more

2016

Australian researchers develop ultra-accurate SKA synchronisation tech, July 2016
Astronomical Verification trials of a critical SKA sub-system developed by Australian researchers have shown the frequency synchronisation technology to perform between 10 and 100 times better than the requirement for the SKA telescope. Read more

ASKAP2016: "the future is now!", June 2016
The ASKAP2016 conference has brought together the user community to plan key aspects of the ASKAP Early Science program, share cutting-edge results and discuss future strategies for observing and data sharing. Read more

Bird of paradise constellation sings a sweet song for ASKAP, April 2016
The first ever 36-beam image has been produced during phased array feed (PAF) commissioning activities for CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope. Read more

Maximising science impact of the SKA in Australia, April 2016
The second annual OzSKA meeting was held to discuss developments in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – with a focus not only on astronomy, but also technological development and the evolution of the SKA Organisation itself. Read more

Parkes telescope granted status of 'SKA pathfinder', April 2016
CSIRO's iconic Parkes radio telescope has been granted the status of 'SKA pathfinder' by the Square Kilometre Array Organisation, on the basis of its role in testing innovation new receiver systems for radio astronomy. Read more

Getting busy with real data, March 2016
In preparation for the start of the ASKAP Early Science Program, the first ASKAP Community Busy Week was held this week at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA). Read more

Egg-actly what you weren't expecting, March 2016
How one ASKAP Survey Science Project is using cloud computing for ‘machine learning’, to test novel techniques for data mining and source finding. Read more

Quiet up there, March 2016
A recent experiment by the ASKAP team has shown how astronomers can ‘disappear’ RFI from their observations using PAF receivers, a technique not possible with single-pixed feeds. Read more

LIGO makes waves, Australian telescopes follow up, March 2016
How ASKAP played a part in LIGO's hunt for gravitational waves, and showcased capabilities offered by the transient survey projects planned for the future. Read more

Bye bye, BETA, February 2016
A bittersweet milestone for ASKAP, as the Boolardy Engineering Test Array (BETA) is decommissioned. Read more

EU funding to support SKA infrastructure study, February 2016
The SKA Infrastructure Consortium received an important boost this week thanks to a grant under the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. Read more

Bonn-bound PAF pops by Parkes, February 2016
ASKAP’s awarding winning receiver technology is about to branch out beyond Western Australia, heading first to Parkes and then to Germany. Read more

A bright start to the year for ASKAP's renewable energy, January 2016
The solar power station for CSIRO’s ASKAP telescope has been powering ahead at the MRO in Western Australia throughout January. Read more

2015

2015: An ASKAP year to remember, December 2015
It is a time to reflect on the major achievements of the ASKAP project in 2015, thanks to the project team staff across Australia, those on the ground at the MRO, and also our international collaborators. Read more

New PAFs 'on the verge' of surpassing BETA, December 2015
Commissioning activities with ASKAP’s newest receivers have produced an image from ‘the most beams yet’, with early data indicating the performance of the Mk II systems may be on the verge of surpassing the BETA telescope. Read more

Supercomputing resources secured for ASKAP Early Science, December 2015
CSIRO has teamed up with leading scientists from the ASKAP early science projects to secure 600,000 core hours of processing time on the largest research supercomputer in the Southern Hemisphere. Read more

'Exotic pulsar' theories confirmed with BETA, December 2015
The latest paper to be published from ASKAP has used commissioning data to confirm theoretical predictions of an ‘exotic’ intermittent pulsar almost 6,000 light years away. Read more

ASKAP News Archive

For older news items (2009-2015), visit the ASKAP News Archive page.

 

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