ASKAP wins national innovation award
Thanks to its innovative Phased Array Feed (PAF) receiver technology and digital systems, the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope has won The Australian Innovation Challenge!
ASKAP is one of two SKA precursor telescopes located at Australia's SKA site. The capability of ASKAP antennas has been demonstrated in recent commissioning and early science activities underway with its first six antennas.
The ASKAP team won the Manufacturing, Construction and Infrastructure award, and impressed the judges enough to also take home the overall prize. Judges had said the project was “one of those advances that keeps Australia on the global innovation map”.
Industry Minister (and minister responsible for science), Ian Macfarlane, labelled ASKAP as a major breakthrough in astronomical data collection and utilisation. "ASKAP delivers vastly improved survey speeds compared with existing radio telescopes," he said. “This has the potential for downstream applications and draws keen interest from all over the world.”
More on the award can be found at CSIRO's news article, Minister Macfarlane's media release and The Australian Innovation Award Challenge website.
2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
Professor Brian Boyle – Australian SKA Project Director was part of two international teams that received global recognition when they were awarded the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. This award recognizes major insights into the deepest questions of the Universe. The group of 51 scientists were recognised for making “the most unexpected discovery, that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, rather than slowing as had been long assumed”.
The teams have previously won major awards for their discovery including the team leaders receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2011. The Breakthrough Prize was awarded at a star-studded awards ceremony in the United States.
More information can be found in Minister Macfarlane’s media release and the Breakthrough Prize website.
Up to 50 Chinese PhD students to visit ICRAR
The University of Western Australia (UWA) and the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), have signed an agreement that will see up to 50 Chinese PhD students visit WA over the next five years.
The agreement is for up to 10 Chinese PhD students to visit WA each year and work alongside top astrophysicists at the UWA node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).
Together, they will build the sorts of skills needed for the SKA including in areas such as galaxy evolution, star formation, dark matter and mapping the large-scale structure of the Universe. More…