Higher Degree by Research Application Portal

TitleRadio Astronomy Instrumentation
SupervisorDr Mike Kriele
Dr Sascha Schediwy
CourseDoctor of Philosophy
Research areaEngineering
Physical Sciences
Project description

Radio telescopes such as the ngVLA and SKA phase-2 will allow astronomers to study the universe with 100 times greater depth and resolution than ever before, enabling discoveries that will shed light on mysteries ranging from the beginning and evolution of the universe, to the origin of life on Earth. To do this, hundreds of radio dishes need to be synchronised with extreme accuracy and precision. The Astrophotonics Group (www.icrar.org/astrophotonics) at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) developed the current frequency synchronisation systems for SKA phase-1, which is currently being manufactured. 

Several project themes are on offer including, PhD topics include:

  • Frequency dissemination and phase stabilisation system — Building on the SKA Frequency distribution system currently being manufactured by UWA, the student will help design, build, and test an FPGA-controlled, optical fibre-based time and frequency distribution system tailored to the scientific needs and engineering challenges of next generation telescope arrays, e.g., the ngVLA and SKA phase-2. The system will use digital signal processing (DSP) on an FPGA to modulate, receive, and stabilise time and frequency signals transmitted over hundreds of kilometres of optical fibre.
  • Giving back to metrology — with the SKA phase-1 frequency distribution system currently being manufactured by UWA, a phase jitter performance of 40 fs is achieved. Redefining this system to be implemented for metrology or relativistic geodesy purposes could significantly advance these fields. This work will extend on the SKA work performed and redefine the system for implementation in large-scale

  • Fast imaging backend — enhanced radio astronomy widefield imaging efficiency through the use of in-hardware parallelisation using Fast Spherical Harmonic Transforms. This approach significantly reduces the data cost of converting voltages to widefield accurate snapshot images. Synthesis will be performed on FPGA hardware interfaced with fibre-optic backend (RFoF) to mitigate cable losses.
Opportunity statusOpen
Open date01 Jul 2024
Close date01 Jan 2030
SchoolGraduate Research School


Course typeDoctorates

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a program of independent, supervised research that is assessed solely on the basis of a thesis, sometimes including a creative work component, that is examined externally. The work presented for a PhD must be a substantial and original contribution to scholarship, demonstrating mastery of the subject of interest as well as an advance in that field of knowledge. 

Visit the course webpage for full details of this course including admission requirements, course rules and the relevant CRICOS code/s.

Duration4 years