As­tronomer mak­ing waves


Kalamunda Reporter - - Front Page - Sarah Brookes

FORRESTFIELD en­gi­neer Daniel Ung (25) is mak­ing waves in­ter­na­tion­ally for his be­hind the scenes work in sup­port­ing Western Aus­tralia’s pro­gres­sion as an on­go­ing force in ra­dio as­tron­omy.

He has al­ready been recog­nised on the global stage as one of the world’s best stu­dents in the FEKO com­pe­ti­tion, an an­nual in­ter­na­tional con­test or­gan­ised in sup­port of en­gi­neer­ing ed­u­ca­tion and aca­demic ex­cel­lence.

Mr Ung said his work as a sup­port en­gi­neer at the Curtin In­sti­tute of Ra­dio As­tron­omy was es­sen­tial in en­sur­ing sci­en­tists were get­ting the most ac­cu­rate pic­ture pos­si­ble when ob­serv­ing outer space.

“As­tronomers are in­ter­ested in ra­dio sig­nals orig­i­nat­ing from the cos­mos how­ever, ra­dio tele­scopes will mod­ify this in­com­ing sig­nal,” he said.

“If as­tronomers know the re­sponse of the ra­dio te­le­scope, they can suc­cess­fully re­move the ef­fects of the te­le­scope.

“I am work­ing on es­ti­mat­ing the ef­fects of in­stru­men­tal noise and how this ef­fects the in­com­ing ra­dio sig­nal.

“It is anal­o­gous to try­ing to quan­tify the ef­fects of the set top box on the in­com­ing TV sig­nal.

“If the set top box in­tro­duces too much noise/in­ter­fer­ence, it will de­grade the video qual­ity.

Like­wise with ra­dio te­le­scope if the te­le­scope in­tro­duces too much noise, it will af­fect the re­sult­ing im­age qual­ity and in this case it could in­tro­duce false arte­facts in the im­age.”

Mr Ung said WA had emerged as a world leader in ra­dio as­tron­omy.

“The In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for Ra­dio As­tron­omy Re­search (ICRAR) is a joint ven­ture be­tween Curtin Univer­sity, Univer­sity of Western Aus­tralia and the State Gov­ern­ment and was formed to de­liver the Square Kilo­me­tre Ar­ray (SKA) here in WA.

“The SKA boasts to be the largest ra­dio te­le­scope in the world and aims to an­swer key sci­ence is­sues that are im­pos­si­ble with cur­rent ra­dio tele­scopes.”

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Curtin Univer­sity masters stu­dent and staff mem­ber Daniel Ung of Forrestfield.

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