Who We Are
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).
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 has a long history in computational science and data analytics with major capability being built around computational chemistry, engineering and geophysics. In the last 10 years, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and increasing investments in the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has helped Curtin to consolidate its capability in the big data analytics domain. As a natural progression, Curtin has identified ICT and Emerging Technology and now Big Data Analytics as priority areas in the University. This has seen establishment of the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA) , the Curtin Institute for Computation (CIC) and most recently the Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre (CIIC) , which aims to apply these capabilities to industry focussed problems. This capability has been further developed through recent professorial appointments in computational geoscience, agriculture big data, and health data analytics. Curtin’s commitment to education and training in this area is demonstrated by the commencement of a new Masters course in predictive analytics and undergraduate course in data science in 2017. Furthermore, the establishment of the Hub for Immersive Visualization and eResearch (HIVE) and development of Research Data Management Planning tools has seen increased focus on enabling research data workflows assisting researchers to better manage and interpret research data.
Curtin University’s strategic investment in CIRA recognized radio astronomy as a natural advantage building on its strong reputation of engineering, spatial and computing disciplines. CIRA has blossomed such that today (Q4 2016) it comprises more than 50 staff and has won major grant awards and massive WA investment via the ICRAR Joint Venture with UWA, further cementing it as a leading centre for radio astronomy development and complex analyses, in both the science and engineering domains. In the ARC ERA 2015 assessment round, both FORs 0201 (Astronomical and Space Sciences) and 0906 (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) were awarded the top ranking of ‘5 – well above world standards’.
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.