Operations: Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory and Geraldton support

The Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) will provide ongoing support for non-ASKAP international and national projects that will enhance the international recognition of the MRO.

These projects are allowing ICRAR to earn a greater scientific return and use enhanced opportunities for its other research.

As well as this ICRAR is: 

  • providing assistance in establishing aspects of the SKA site in Australia (in particular Western Australia) including, but not limited to, the MRO
  • playing an active operational role in the long baseline (high spatial resolution) and high time resolution capabilities of ASKAP
  • accessing the MRO in order to deploy small demonstration instruments resulting from key ICRAR engineering development programs
  • providing national and international access to ASKAP data
  • supporting operational activities for MRO projects in Geraldton.

ICRAR's Operations Program is defining ongoing commitments in these areas.

Operational support for MRO projects

ICRAR will provide management and local logistics support to a suite of experiments on the MRO to assist in gaining maximum scientific knowledge from these instruments as early as possible in their operations.

This suite includes the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), CORE and EDGES. These projects are international or national in scope and funding with ICRAR staff are already strongly collaborating as part of these teams.

ICRAR's investments in large projects connected to the MRO will focus on three areas:

  1. Personnel involved in the management, construction and commissioning of instruments at the MRO and facilities in Geraldton. As this is an intensive activity in a remote location distinct and dedicated management and technical skills are required.
  2. Investment in maintaining a presence at the MRO and in Geraldton, including the costs of travel to sites and accommodation for personnel undertaking deployments.
  3. Strategic positioning of ICRAR in terms of future developments on the MRO and in Geraldton, including any opportunities that may arise from the US decadal planning process in astronomy.

The technical team supporting the MRO and Geraldton activities will connect to the ICRAR staff involved in the science undertaken with these instruments. The intimate connection between the ICRAR's technology development and science program development is a distinct advantage and ensures a maximally effective, efficient and productive Centre.

Operations in Geraldton

The suite of large projects being deployed to the MRO will have a primary support base in Geraldton, at an operational facility under construction by the CSIRO.

ICRAR is expected to have a significant presence in Geraldton, following the evolution of the ASKAP and MWA projects in particular.

The scope of the Geraldton presence for ASKAP and CSIRO is not yet fully defined so the scope of ICRAR participation is still under development.

The initial ICRAR staff member in Geraldton is an Aboriginal liaison officer, employed on behalf of Curtin University and seconded to the CSIRO. This staff member is supported by ICRAR funds and will play a pivotal role connecting to the indigenous stakeholders in the region.

Other ICRAR activity in Geraldton will be defined as time goes on and the operational requirements of ASKAP and MWA specifically become better understood.

Footnote links and information

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Last updated
Thursday, 11 November, 2010 11:19 AM
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