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




Quarterly update: August 2007

First General Meeting

AAL held its First General Meeting on 5th July 2007. All fourteen members participated in the meeting, either directly or via proxy. The resolutions from the meeting included the election of the full board of AAL. The members also received an update on the status of AAL, including the granting of income tax exempt status by the ATO on 8th June 2007 and the signing of the astronomy NCRIS contract with DEST on 20th June 2007.

AAL would like to thank the CSIRO for hosting this meeting at its Radiophysics Laboratory in Marsfield.

Strategic Options process

As agreed by the members at the First General Meeting, AAL will adhere to the following process in making its recommendations on the use of the NCRIS strategic options funds:

    1. NCRIS funding to start flowing to the AGMTPO, GMT DDP and PILOT Design Study early in 2007/08.
    2. AGMTPO, PILOT PO and AGSC to submit their reports to AAL by 31st July 2008.
    3. AGMTAC to comment on the GMT report, and AAAAC to comment on the PILOT report, by 31st August 2008.
    4. An international panel selected by AAL and approved by DEST, to review all relevant documentation by 31st August 2008.
    5. AAL Board to decide on the use of the strategic options funds as soon as possible.
    6. AAL's recommendation to be simultaneously submitted to DEST and made public by 30th September 2008.

NCRIS related contracts

In addition to the astronomy NCRIS contract with DEST, there are six contracts and a MoU associated with the astronomy NCRIS. AAL is pleased to announce that it has signed the NCRIS sub-contract with the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO), and NCRIS funding will now commence for the refurbishment of the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) and for a new instrument for the AAT. NCRIS funding for the Australian Gemini Office, to be hosted by the AAO, is also covered by this sub-contract and will commence in 2008.

The other contracts currently being negotiated are:

  • GMT DDP Memorandum of Understanding with ANU;
  • Australian GMT Project Office with ANU;
  • PILOT Design Study with UNSW;
  • Gemini ARC grant: novation from University of Sydney to AAL;
  • ASKAP project with CSIRO;
  • MWA project with University of Melbourne.

Australian GMT Advisory Committee

AAL has now formed the Australian GMT Advisory Committee, to be chaired by Prof Karl Glazebrook. This committee is expected to hold its first meeting at ANU within the next few weeks.

AAL staff

AAL has contracted staff from Swinburne University of Technology to support the operations of AAL:

  • Dr Lisa Germany (03 9214 8047) will work for AAL at the 0.2FTE level to assist with communications and contract reporting tasks;
  • Carolyn Cliff (03 9214 5569) will work for AAL at the 0.1FTE level to provide secretarial support.