Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Australian technology installed on world’s largest single-dish radio telescope


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

For further information, please contact:

Pete Wheeler

+61 423 982 018

Pete Wheeler | AlphaGalileo

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First results of NSTX-U research operations
26.10.2016 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

nachricht Scientists discover particles similar to Majorana fermions
25.10.2016 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>