Hi there! My name is Danny Price, and I’m a senior postdoctoral researcher at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, and part of the International Centre of Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). As project scientist for Breakthrough Listen in Australia, I am also part of the Berkeley SETI Research Center at UC Berkeley.
I work on a wide range of radio astronomy projects, but with a focus on building new instruments to open up new science opportunities. Here’s a few research topics:
I work mainly on digital instrumentation: designing signal processing systems for radio telescopes. I work a lot with programmable circuits called FPGAs and I’m an active part of the CASPER collaboration. I’ve helped build instruments across the world, including signal processors for the Parkes ‘Murriyang’ radio telescope, Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (UTMOST-2D), and the Long Wavelength Array (LWA).
I’m excited to be part of the Breakthrough Listen initiative: the most comprehensive search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) ever undertaken. We are using the largest telescopes in the world to systematically search for artificial signals of unknown origin.
Fast Radio Bursts
Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are rare and enigmatic astrophysical events that pack a tremendous amount of energy into a burst lasting only a few milliseconds. They appear to originate from billions of light years away; how and why they occur remains an outstanding mystery that we are inching closer to solving. I am interested in building systems to detect FRBs, and how FRBs can be used as probes of the far-flung reaches of the Universe.
the Cosmic Dawn
The fingerprints of the young Universe are spread across the radio sky, hidden by dazzling sources of radio emission in the foreground. When the first stars ignited (known as the ‘Cosmic Dawn’), they rapidly ionized surround Hydrogen gas. This rapid ionization should give rise to a signal — or ‘fingerprint’ — that could be readily detected with a simple antenna (not unlike the TV antenna you may have on your rooftop). But to detect the faint signal requires an incredibly precise (and difficult) calibration, and a lot of rigor and patience. I am interested in new methods to find the fingerprints of Cosmic Dawn, and spent several years characterising the Large-Aperture Experiment to Detect the Dark Ages (LEDA).
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