Introducing the Australian SKA Regional Centre – AusSRC

Six people standing in front of a metal antenna decorated like a Christmas tree. The two people on either end have one foot raised showing off their blue socks with yellow rubber duck patterns. The other people in the photo are pointing to the socked feet.

The six AusSRC staff members at their Christmas 2021 lunch meeting. Credit: AusSRC.

Another day, another acronym to learn!

Based at ICRAR and CSIRO in Perth, the Australian SKA Regional Centre (shortened to AusSRC, “Oz-S.R.C.”) is the Australian contingent of an international network of SKA Regional Centres. These Centres will be a global computing and data delivery network that will provide the connection between the SKA telescopes and the science community.

The AusSRC currently supports precursor science projects that utilise the ASKAP and MWA telescopes. The precursor work done with the ASKAP and MWA emphasises how vital these projects are to the future success and development of the SKA – and more.

In 2021, AusSRC secured $63 million in funding from the Federal Government to establish and build up the capability of the AusSRC. Once the SKA is up and running, around 600 petabytes (that’s 600,000,000 gigabytes) will be stored each year across the global SRC network for astronomers and astrophysicists from all over the world to access and analyse.

The AusSRC is a partnership collaboration between CSIRO, Curtin University, the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre, and the University of Western Australia.

The establishment of the AusSRC Interim Board was a keystone event this quarter. Ms Patricia Kelly was appointed as the inaugural Interim Board Chair. Patricia brings a thorough understanding of the SKA project, having been involved in many aspects of the SKA, such as representing Australia on the Board of the SKA Organisation between 2012-2017. With Patricia as our Chair and the Interim Board members leading the way, we’re excited to bring you updates from the AusSRC.

Dr Karen Lee-Waddell, Director, AusSRC