Software Support Program

A principal component of ADACS is the provision of expertise for the design and development of software tools, platforms and infrastructure.

We have a diversely qualified team with expertise covering a variety of areas including (but not limited to): system analysis and design, scientific computing, high-performance computing, data science, web development, large-scale scientific databases, cloud computing and scientific visualisation.

The software support program (SSP) can be divided into two areas,

  • general support; allocating several weeks of developer time to a project, and
  • embedded support; embedding technical staff within large scale astronomy projects

General SSP

Our developer resources are awarded via a merit-based application process which is evaluated by the ADACS Time Allocation Committee (TAC).

To ensure effective proposals, we split the application process into two stages:

  1. an expression of interest (EoI) stage where we ask interested parties to submit a one-page (maximum) proposal outlining their scientific objectives, providing the basis of a discussion (to be scheduled following receipt of your EoI) about feasibility, optimal approaches and required resources;
  2. and a subsequent round of formal submissions — shaped by our input — to be made to the ADACS TAC.

The review of EoI applications proceeds on a first-come-first-served basis and during a call we welcome submissions at any time until the deadline.

We ask that EoI submissions be kept brief. (i.e. no more than one page; a couple paragraphs generally suffice) providing a concise description of the proposed project and its goals.

When considering projects for this process, we also ask that you keep the following in mind: all ADACS development will be open-source, and as such, made publicly available.

Embedded SSP

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, as part of ADACS, is currently trialling a new program to enhance the support for large scale astronomy projects by embedding technical staff within research projects.

The aim of this program is to add value to existing investments and to assist in the optimisation of existing workflows, software and processes by having a Pawsey technical staff member embedded in astronomy research projects for at least 12 months.

The online application process required researchers from across Australia to submit proposals demonstrating how the inclusion of a technical staff member (at least 0.5 FTE effort for a duration of 12 months) would enhance their research. Each project proposal was assessed by an independent panel and selected on the basis of technical and scientific merit. Consideration was also given to how this investment could maximise the return on funding provided to each project and whether the expected outcome of the project could be used or re-used by other relevant projects.

The first round of applications saw three successful groups:


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ADACS is delivered jointly by Swinburne University of Technology, Curtin University, and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre. ADACS is funded under Astronomy National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Program via Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL).