The world’s largest filled single-dish radio telescope launched on Sunday, and it relies on a piece of West Australian innovation.
The telescope—known as FAST—uses a data system developed at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy (ICRAR) in Perth and the European Southern Observatory to manage the huge amounts of data it generates.
The software is called the Next Generation Archive System (NGAS), and will help astronomers using the telescope to search for rotating neutron stars and look for signs of extra-terrestrial life.
FAST, or the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, is so large it had to be built into a valley in Guizhou province in south-west China.
The NGAS data system will help to collect, transport and store about three petabytes of information a year from the telescope.
“That’s a hundred thousand 32GB iPods filled every year,” said Professor Andreas Wicenec, who heads up ICRAR’s ICT program and helped design the data system.
“Getting that kind of capacity is not too hard anymore but the main challenge is transporting so much data and having the network bandwidth to move it around.”
FAST will be one of the most sensitive telescopes ever built, and the huge amounts of data produced will allow astronomers to map hydrogen gas in the Milky Way, hunt for rotating neutron stars known as pulsars and look for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence.
It is an official pathfinder to the multi-billion dollar Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope, to be built in Western Australia and South Africa.
Professor Wicenec says China marks the latest conquest for the NGAS data system, which is already used on telescopes including the European Southern Observatory, the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Murchison Widefield Array in outback Western Australia.
“For us it’s quite exciting to install NGAS on yet another telescope because the system is now being used all around the world,” he said.
“China is one of the few regions we hadn’t covered yet.”
The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) is a joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia with support and funding from the State Government of Western Australia.
ICRAR’s Data Intensive Astronomy team, based at the University of Western Australia, is leading the international effort to address the challenges surrounding the flow of data within the SKA observatory.
Images available from www.icrar.org/FAST
For further information, please contact:
+61 423 982 018
Pete Wheeler | AlphaGalileo
SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University
Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences