Opportunities for industry with $100M radio telescope

SENATOR Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, today launched a register of the opportunities available to industry to participate in building a $100 million radio telescope in Western Australia.

SENATOR Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, today launched a register of the opportunities available to industry to participate in building a $100 million radio telescope in Western Australia.

“The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, or Pathfinder telescope for short, will be an internationally significant, next-generation radio telescope, featuring world-leading technology,” Senator Carr said.

“CSIRO believes that when it is fully operational, this Australian telescope will be the most powerful survey radio telescope in the world.”

The Pathfinder telescope will support Australia’s bid for the $2 billion-plus Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope, one of the most significant international science projects ever.

The ASKAP Industry Opportunities Register outlines the Pathfinder telescope technology and infrastructure requirements to 2012 in areas where industry partnerships are needed. The opportunities for industry will be worth around $70 million.

“The Industry Opportunities Register reflects CSIRO’s commitment to working with industry to provide innovative and value-for-money solutions for the Pathfinder telescope and potentially for the SKA,” Professor Brian Boyle, CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility director, said.

“The register is important to businesses with the capacity to contribute to the Pathfinder telescope and, in time, the SKA radio telescope,” Professor Boyle said.

John Humphreys, Chair of the Australian SKA Industry Consortium, said that “the information in the register will be essential for planning and understanding the ASKAP technology pathway.”

CSIRO will build the Pathfinder telescope and develop technologies that will inform planning and development of the SKA with $100 million in Australian Government funding.

The site is being provided by the Government of Western Australia. Construction of the Pathfinder begins next year, and a decision on who will host the SKA is expected by 2012.

To access the ASKAP Industry Opportunities Register visit: www.ska.gov.au; ring: (02) 9372 4263; or email: ASKAP-contact@csiro.au