AARNet launches first Australasian e-telescope, 'shows commitment' to SKA

Produces pictures with 'ten times' more detail than Hubble

Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet) has partnered with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and fellow scientists across the Tasman to develop the first virtual e-telescope in Australasia.

AARNet, Auckland University of Technology, Curtin University, the CSIRO and University of Tasmania have linked five radio telescopes across Australia and New Zealand then observed a remote quasar star using an electronic Very Long Baseline Interferometry (e-VLBI).

The research network played a key part in the night-time trial, with AARNet CEO, Chris Hancock, saying that the use of high-speed fibre networks were vital to its success.

“High-speed optical fibre networks are fundamental in enabling local researchers to connect telescopes in real time, facilitating major advances in e-VLBI techniques,” Hancock said in a statement.

“Projects of this nature showcase Australia and New Zealand’s commitment to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) bid, which will be based on proven e-VLBI technologies.”

The e-VLBI technology allows the group of scientists to generate images that capture 10 times more detail than the Hubble Space Telescope, and streams data from each telescope to a processing centre in Narrabri in New South Wales.

Hancock spoke to Computerworld Australia last year and said AARNet had moved to an in-house network operations centre and had plans to launch a terabit trial.

More to come

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Tags SKACSIROaarnettelescopesSquare Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescopeAARNet Chris Hancock

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