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

To enhance the support for large scale astronomy projects, former ADACS member the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, trialled a new program to embed 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 an ADACS technical staff member embedded in astronomy research projects for at least 12 months.

The online application process is now incorporated into our general SSP call during the first call in each year and projects will typically run over the duration of the financial year. The 2020/2021 call is now closed and successful project(s) will be announced soon.

The 2019/2020 call saw three groups receiving support:

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