1.1 The Australia Telescope National Facility

The ATNF is managed as a National Facility by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Formerly part of the CSIRO Division of Radiophysics, it became a separate division in January 1989. The ATNF became a National Facility in April 1990. In December 2009, ATNF became part of a new Division, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS), together with NASA Operations (including the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex), and CSIRO Space Sciences and Technology. The Australia Telescope continues as a National Facility, providing world-class observing facilities for astronomers at Australian and overseas institutions.

The ATNF employs about 185 staff, including about 40 astronomers, with the majority of staff located at its headquarters in Marsfield, a suburb of Sydney (although Marsfield is sometimes referred to as Epping, a larger neighbouring suburb). The Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) headquarters are co-located with ATNF at Marsfield.

Besides the ATCA, the ATNF operates the 64-m radio telescope at the Parkes Observatory (300 km west of Sydney) and a 22-m antenna at Mopra, 120 km south of the ATCA. In addition, the ATNF negotiates time with the CSIRO-administered 70-m and 34-m antennas at the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Tracking station outside Canberra. The ATNF telescopes are used together, in conjunction with the University of Tasmania telescopes at Hobart and Ceduna, as part of the Long Baseline Array for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations.

The ATNF is currently structured into four themes: Operations, Astrophysics, Technologies, and ASKAP. ASKAP (the Australian SKA Pathfinder), is being constructed by ATNF in Western Australia, will be an array of thirty-six wide-field 12m antennas operating in the 0.7–1.8 GHz range. It is expected to be operational in 2013. More details are available at http://www.atnf.csiro.au/projects/askap/.

A biannual newsletter is produced by the ATNF which includes recent news items, scientific articles and time assignment information. It is archived at http://www.atnf.csiro.au/news/newsletter/. ATNF Annual Reports are available from http://www.atnf.csiro.au/the_atnf/annual_reports/.


Users Guide last modified on 2013-02-18 04:17:11