An ASKAP antenna at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory. Image Credit: Ant Schinckel, CSIRO.




Quarterly update: March 2011

eResearch Tender process

AAL received advice from its Astronomy eResearch Advisory Committee (AeRAC) that AAL should invest in a concept design study to realise the vision for the future of eResearch in astronomy outlined in the NeCTAR submission. AAL expects to release a Request for Tender for services to develop such a concept design in early April. The advertisement for the Request for Tender will be available on the AAL website.

NSF Visit

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has approached AAL for a visit to Australia to discuss astronomy and exa-scale computing. AAL will host a delegation including Jim Ulvestad (Division Director, Division of Astronomical Sciences) and Ed Seidel (Assistant Director, Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences) from 17th-22nd April.

Note (11th April): unfortunately this visit has had to be cancelled due to the current uncertainty around the US Federal Budget preventing US Government employees from travelling.

Final months of NCRIS

NCRIS is scheduled to finish on 30th June 2011. The AAL Board feels that it will be appropriate for all NCRIS funded projects to either be complete by that date, or to have fully funded project plans which clearly demonstrate the facility that could be developed. In this context, the AAL Board reviewed the progress of all NCRIS projects at its meeting in February 2011. AAL then asked the MWA team to provide a project plan to confirm the instrument that can be deployed based on the funding that has been secured to-date. Initial estimates are that a 128 tile instrument can be deployed with existing funds, including the infrastructure that would allow for 512 tiles if further funds become available. AAL notes that the MWA team have submitted a funding proposal to the NSF to allow the full 512 tile instrument to be developed. The AAL Board will consider the updated project plan at its next meeting on 18th April 2011.

Anne Green - Deputy Chair

The AAL Board has appointed Anne Green as deputy Chair until the 2013 AAL AGM.