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




Quarterly update: September 2011

Annual General Meeting

The next AAL AGM will be held on 11th November 2011 at Swinburne University of Technology. All Member representatives are asked to note this date.

Vacancies on the AAL Board

The terms of two AAL directors will conclude at the 2011 AGM creating two vacancies on the AAL Board. AAL will accept applications from those seeking to join the Board of AAL until 23rd September 2011 at 4pm AEST. Please see the Non-Executive Directors advertisement for more details.

A Nomination Committee of the Members has been formed to review all applications and nominate successful applications for consideration by the Members at the AGM on 11th November 2011. The committee members are: Mark Wainwright (Chair), Astronomy Australia Limited; Gavin Rowell, University of Adelaide; Karl Glazebrook, Swinburne University of Technology; Kate Brooks, Astronomical Society of Australia; and Matthew Colless, Australian Astronomical Observatory.

Vacancies on AAL committees

There will be twenty-two vacancies on AAL committees from 1st January 2012. AAL will accept applications from those seeking to join these committees until 23rd September 2011 at 4pm AEST. Please see the AAL Committee Membership advertisement for more details.

Applications will be reviewed by the AAL Board Chair, Deputy Chair and CEO. This group will make nominations to the AAL Board for consideration at its next meeting on 10th November 2011.

NeCTAR funding opportunities

The University of Melbourne is leading the $47 million National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) project to develop national eResearch collaboration infrastructure. Following from the advice of AAL's Astronomy eResearch Advisory Committee (AeRAC), AAL will investigate leading two NeCTAR proposals: An Australian Optical Archive with an initial focus on SkyMapper, proposed by Brian Schmidt, Australian National University; and, The Theoretical Astrophysical Observatory, proposed by Darren Croton, Swinburne University of Technology.

After AAL has conducted an initial technical assessment of each option, and NeCTAR has released its call for proposals, AAL will make its final assessment regarding submitting NeCTAR proposals.

MWA Workshop

AAL will host a small MWA Workshop on 28th-29th September 2011 at Swinburne University of Technology. The objective of the workshop is for AAL to support the MWA team as they finalise their plans for the deployment of a 128T array, with the aim of having a scientifically productive instrument operational from 2012.

The draft agenda and final list of participants for this workshop is now available: MWA Workshop

Astronomy EIF programme

The $10,000,000 astronomy EIF programme commenced on 1st July 2011. There are nine astronomy EIF projects, five of which had been contracted by 30th June 2011, and a further two projects were formally defined on 7th July when AAL signed an EIF subcontract with the AAO for the near-IR arm of HERMES, and for AAOmega's detector upgrade.

In coming months AAL expects to release contracts for the remaining two astronomy EIF projects: additional funding for MWA, and progress towards the federation of national astronomy datasets. The MWA Workshop on 28th-29th September will help to define the statement of work for the MWA EIF subcontract. AAL has contracted Intersect Australia Ltd to develop a concept design study into the federation of national astronomy datasets, and that study will help to define any EIF subcontract on this topic.