Who We Are
ADACS is delivered jointly by Swinburne University of Technology, Curtin University and Macquarie University. ADACS is funded under Astronomy National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Program via Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL).
Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL)
Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL) is a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee, whose members are Australian universities and research organisations with a significant astronomical research capability. AAL works with Australia’s National Observatories, astronomers at Australian universities and the Australian Government to advance the goals in the Australian astronomy Decadal Plan 2016-2025, Australia in the era of global astronomy.
Our Vision: Australian-based astronomers will have access to the best astronomical research infrastructure.
Swinburne University of Technology
Swinburne University of Technology is a young and exciting university leading the way in innovation, industry engagement and social inclusion. Swinburne is progressing to become a leading research university, globally ranking in the top 100 in Physics, top 75 in Engineering and top 65 in Space Science. Swinburne aspires to be a leading institution in science, technology and innovation, conducting research that transforms industries, shapes lives and communities. This aspiration is reflected in the recently created Swinburne Data Science Research Institute (SDSRI) which will lead the development of innovative computing and data infrastructures to analyse, manage, curate and serve data to communities. The SDSRI will work closely with industry and national data providers to create a “data incubator”, which will provide eResearch services and training to end-users.
The Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing (CAS) at Swinburne University of Technology is focussed on the synergy between high-performance computing (HPC), data science and astronomy. CAS will play an integrated role in the SDSRI, driving eResearch development and training in astronomy-related data science and supercomputing. CAS is a major contributor to Swinburne’s ranking in the top 100 in Physics research in the world, and CAS has consistently scored the highest possible rank of “above world standard” in Australia’s research excellence ratings. CAS has an extensive track record in designing supercomputers for the astronomy community, culminating in the current g2 machine that incorporates the GPU Supercomputer for Theoretical Astrophysics Research (gSTAR) – a national facility for astronomers provided in cooperation with Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL). The facility also hosts a number of Swinburne-led national data science development projects, such as the gSTAR Data Management and Collaboration Platform (gDMCP) and the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) funded Theoretical Astrophysics Observatory (TAO), committed to delivering astronomical datasets to the national community. Furthermore, CAS has an outstanding track record of developing real-time data processing pipelines in radio astronomy (at Parkes, the refurbished Molonglo and now for MeerKAT) and an optical astronomy program that includes direct access to nights at the Keck Observatory. Swinburne will host the new OzGrav Centre of Excellence and will be a key node of the CAASTRO-3D Centre of Excellence, underpinning the supercomputing and data science efforts of both.
Curtin University of Technology
Curtin University has a long history of computational science and data analytics with the last 15 years seeing Curtin consolidate its capability in these domains with the Square Kilometre Array and increased investments in the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.
Following this, Curtin identified information and communication technologies, data science, and big data analytics as areas of development. Part of this was the establishment of the Curtin Institute for Data Science(CIDS), an interdisciplinary knowledge accelerator centre that puts data science and high-performance computing into action to innovatively solve the real-world problems of government, industry, and academia.
The CIDS team of over 35 includes astrophysicist, data scientists, software developers, and project coordinators is led by Professor Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, a professor of astrophysics with over 25 years’ experience in astrophysics and computation. With its unique mixture of astrophysicists, data scientists, and research software developers, the CIDS spans the space between computing and astronomy, making the CIDS an ideal ADACS delivery partner.
Macquarie University (from 2022)
AAO Research Data and Software (RDS) is one of two technology development programmes at Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) at Macquarie University, working alongside the Instrumentation programme. They deliver specialised software and data engineering services to Australian and international astronomers, along with project management and research systems administration expertise.
The RDS team is staffed by software and data engineers, UX/UI developers, and research systems administrators, with a range of backgrounds, including many with postgraduate degrees in astrophysics. They have outstanding expertise is managing software projects and the systems engineering involved in astronomical instrumentation, as well as large-scale software and data engineering. This depth of engineering knowledge combined with research experience allows RDS to provide an important link between researchers and the software systems required to reduce, process, and analyse data from telescopes around the world, facilitating collaboration between distributed research teams. RDS leads the Data Central Science Platform and supports the development and maintenance of the ESO VLT Pipelines software, making the team an excellent ADACS delivery partner.
Pawsey Supercomputing Centre (2017 to 2020)
The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre vision is to be a world leader in supercomputing, data and visualisation research infrastructure provision, delivering services to researchers beyond their expectation, and standing as Australia’s supercomputing gateway to the world. In this regard, Pawsey has always focussed on pushing the limits of present scientific capability. Pawsey is one of the most advanced facilities in the southern hemisphere and through ADACS, Pawsey is looking to encourage and support Australia’s astronomers to effectively use these advanced computing and data facilities.