Upgrade of ATNF Instruments

The Australian Very Long Baseline Interferometer (VLBI) Upgrade

International Collaboration

Strategic Research

Background to the ATNF MNRF Proposal

MNRF Project

The ATNF MNRF Projects

The Upgrade of ATNF Instruments

The upgrade will enable the Australia Telescope Compact Array to operate at smaller wavelength (higher frequency) and higher angular resolution, and is complemented by projects at Parkes and the Australia Telescope National Facility as a whole. The upgrade was officially launched in March 1998. Pictures of the construction works in progress are available. A four-page pamphlet (pdf file) describing the ATCA high-frequency (mm-wave) upgrade in simple terms is also available. A recent summary and update of the high-frequency extension was presented to the WARS 2000 conference, in Beechworth, Victoria.  The upgrade consists of the following projects;

At the Australia Telescope Compact Array

Instrument/Project Documents

3-mm receivers

12-mm receivers

Antenna surface extension

Atmospheric phase correction


Extra stations and the north-south spur

At Parkes

Instrument/Project Documents

Upgrade of Parkes RF/IF conversion system

AT Observatory Management System (ATOMS)

Instrument/Project Documents


The Australian Very Long Baseline Interferometer (VLBI) Upgrade

The upgraded six-station Australian VLBI network will be internationally competitive and the only Southern Hemisphere array. It will be able to be combined with existing antennas in Asia, USA and South Africa and will involve Australia in space science through participation in space VLBI. 

For more information see the VLBI Upgrade Page.

Information on the existing ATNF VLBI Project can be found on the ATNF VLBI pages.

International Collaboration 

Funding is available to enhance international collaboration by developing links between major astronomical research facilities in Australia and overseas. Proposals for funding are assessed by the National Committee for Astronomy of the Academy of Science. The ATNF has responsibility for the administration of this program. 

For more information see the International Collaboration Page.

Strategic Research

Funding was available through the MNRF Program for strategic research, and two broad research projects were established in the ATNF. The first involved research into the next-generation radio telescope, now known as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) (formerly called the 1kT). The second project grouped all ATNF activities associated with radio frequency interference (RFI) mitigation, including those associated with the SKA.

The MNRF funds played a vital part in CSIRO's decision in late 1999 to fund a more comprehensive SKA research program. The two original strategic projects are now part of this program, details of which are available here.