CSIRO Space & Astronomy Radio School 2023

Radio Astronomy School 2023

CSIRO Space and Astronomy held the 2023 Radio School in person at the Australia Telescope Compact Array near Narrabri, NSW from Monday 25th to Friday 29th September 2023, with on-line attendance also possible. The format of the school was similar to previous Radio Schools, with a mix of lectures and practical hands-on sessions. Material was presented by both radio astronomers and engineers. The lectures covered both single dish telescopes and interferometers, however, the emphasis of this year's school was on interferometry. The intended audience is postgraduate students and other interested researchers. No prior experience with radio astronomy is required. Attendees are strongly encouraged to consider attending in person to derive the most benefit of ease of access to and daily interactions with field experts, one-on-one interactions during hands-on tutorials, a guided tour of the telescopes, and building networks through planned social events. Online attendees will have access to a live stream of lectures. Both in-person and online attendees will be provided access to a recording of the lectures (for offline viewing) and a link to the tutorial material (on a best-effort basis).


The program for the 2023 radio school is available.

Copies of the presentations given at the school are now available.

And the recordings of the presentations are now also available.

A step-by-step guide to the Spectral Line data reduction tutorial has been added below.

The school photo is available as an ATNF Daily Astronomy Picture (ADAP).  A second ADAP also featured the Radio School.


This year’s Radio School will include a mix of tutorials over three afternoons. Each one will be 1.5 hours long and the topics covered will be:

  • Continuum data reduction
  • Spectral line data reduction
  • Image Plane Analysis of Variables & Transients
  • Hands-on ATCA Observing
  • Using Supercomputers for data reduction
  • Data reduction pipelines
  • Antenna Tours
  • Build your own interferometer
  • Source matching
  • Data access

The current schedule for the tutorials (subject to change based on demand) is available.

Student will have the opportunity to choose a couple tutorials a day or repeat the same tutorial twice. Sign-up will take place on first day of the radio school.

Material for some tutorials can be downloaded in advance (and there will be no internet access on site):

Continuum data reduction: This will be done using CASA, which can be obtained from here (for linux or Mac only). The data for the tutorial can be downloaded from here (or specifically https://www.narrabri.atnf.csiro.au/people/Jamie.Stevens/CX208/tutorial/m..., which works better with wget). Step-by-step instructions for the data reduction in CASA and in Miriad.

Spectral line data reduction: A step-by-step guide to this tutorial is now available. The spectral line tutorial uses Miriad -- refer to the miriad webpages for details. Participants that have Miriad working on their computers before arriving to the school will be able to work through the data reduction during the tutorial, but this is not a requirement. The dataset that will be processed will be from the IMAGINE legacy survey on ATCA (PI: A. Popping, Project code: C3157). The chosen galaxy will be NGC 1512, with particular observations from 2 Oct 2018. Participants are encouraged to download the data from the Australia Telescope Online Archive. Download the full set of observations, in the (timestamped) files 2018-10-02_1103.C3157 to 2018-10-02_2225.C3157. (The earlier file 2018-10-02_1052.C3157 is the setup file and not useful for science processing). The full data set is ~85GB of data, so having just a few files is fine for the tutorial. The key file that should be downloaded is 2018-10-02_1103.C3157, which contains the calibrators and some science data. Any additional files will contribute to much better imaging. NGC 1512 is a very pretty galaxy.

Source matching: For this tutorial you will need a way to do python (which could be iPython notebooks, but whatever your preferred method is) with Numpy, Matplotlib, Astropy, and Pandas. Two csv files will be used: ASKAP sources and Gaia sources.


Social Events

It is important to make the Radio School experience not all work but to have some play. The speakers and participants are invited to attend three social events.

  • Dinner and Trivia at Narrabri RSL Club  – Monday 25th September at 6:30pm
  • Dinner and Star Party at ATCA – Wednesday 27th September
  • Walk around Sawn Rocks – Friday 29th September, directly after lunch at ATCA

A form will be provided after registration to sign-up to attend these events. Registration fees are $360 (regular) and $300 (students) for in-person attendees. This includes in-person lectures, in-person tutorials, telescope tour, lunches, coffee breaks, and two evening events. Online registration is free, and includes online lectures (and recordings will be made available for offline viewing), and tutorial material being made available on a best-effort basis for offline viewing.

Important dates 

  • April 2023: Save-the-date email to ASA exploder
  • July 2023: First announcement  
  • 26 July: Registration opens
  • 18 September: Registration closed
  • 25 September 2023: School Starts


There will be a registration fee for attendance at the Radio School. For 2023, the registration fee will be $360 for full registration and $300 for students. The registration fee covers all lunches, morning and afternoon teas, as well as two dinner events, but not accommodation and travel. Registration is only complete on receipt of full payment. Participants will be able to advise of any dietary requirements during the registration process.

Travel to Narrabri

Students are responsible for organising their own travel to and from Narrabri.

Link Airlines has flights to Narrabri from Sydney and Brisbane (the latter via Inverell) but only on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. QantasLink flies to Moree (about 1 hour north from Narrabri by car) from Sydney, and to Tamworth (about 2 hours east of Narrabri by car) from Sydney. Car-pooling from one or other of these places may be possible.

A train runs each way daily between Sydney and Narrabri. The trains leave both Sydney and Narrabri at little after 9am and the journey takes a little over 7 hours. Reservations are required.

Some people may be driving from Sydney to Narrabri. The 565-km drive from Sydney takes approximately 7.5 hours. Some car-pooling options may be available.

Accommodation Advice

Students are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. Narrabri has a range of options, including the Club Motor Inn, the Southern Cross Motor Inn, the Adelong Motel, and the Mid Town Inn. The BigSky Caravan Park has cabins which can accommodate larger groups. No on-site accommodation will be available during the Radio School. Block bookings have been made at Adelong Motel, Bellview Motel, Mid Town Inn, Southern Cross Motel and Big Sky Caravan Park. There are numerous 2-bedroom cabins, family rooms available for anyone wanting to share. When making a booking, participants should state that they wish to secure one of the rooms that have been block-booked for CSIRO Radio School.

Bus transport will be arranged from the town of Narrabri to the telescope each morning and afternoon. The bus will pick up and drop off at the places listed above (and possibly others, if sufficient demand).

Bus Schedule

Please be at the designated areas by 7:45am

Stop 1: Bellview Motel. Anyone staying at the Club Motor Inn should also meet the bus at the Bellview Motel on Barwan Street.

Stop 2: Crossroads Hotel. Anyone staying at the Adelong Motel should also meet the bus across the road on Lloyd Street.

Stop 3: Tourist Hotel. The bus will stop at the bus stop on Doyle Street, across the road from the Tourist Hotel, at the Medical Centre.

Stop 4: The side of the Southern Cross Motor Inn on Fitzroy Street.

Stop 5: Big Sky Caravan Park.  Anyone staying at the Mid Town Inn should also meet the bus at Big Sky Caravan Park on Tibbereena Street.  They will need to walk through the back of the Mid Town Inn and across the road.

A pdf map of the bus stops is available here.

Organising Committee

SOC: Nithyanandan Thyagarajan, Rajan Chhetri, Laura Driessen, Philip Edwards, Elizabeth Mahony, Alec Thomson, Tessa Vernstrom

LOC: Jamie Stevens, Amanda Gray (amanda.gray_at_csiro.au), Jane Trindall (jane.trindall_at_csiro.au)

Code of Conduct

The organizers are committed to making this meeting productive and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, nationality or religion. We will not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. Please follow these guidelines:

  • Behave professionally. Harassment and sexist, racist, or exclusionary comments or jokes are not appropriate. Harassment includes sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, sexual attention or innuendo, deliberate intimidation, stalking, and photography or recording of an individual without consent. It also includes offensive comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion.
  • All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate.
  • Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other attendees.

Participants asked to stop any inappropriate behaviour are expected to comply immediately. Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the event at the sole discretion of the organisers without a refund of any charge. Any participant who wishes to report a violation of this policy is asked to speak, in confidence, to any of the LOC or SOC members.

This code of conduct is based on the "London Code of Conduct", as originally designed for the conference "Accurate Astrophysics. Correct Cosmology", held in London in July 2015. The London Code of Conduct was adapted with permission by Andrew Pontzen and Hiranya Peiris from a document by Software Carpentry, which itself derives from original Creative Commons documents by PyCon and Geek Feminism. It is released under a CC-Zero licence for reuse. To help track people's improvements and best practice, please retain this acknowledgement, and log your re-use or modification of this policy at https://github.com/apontzen/london_cc.

PDF version of the Code of Conduct


Page last updated: 01-nov-2023 pge