KAREN connects Australia and New Zealand over 5500 km

26 Nov, 2010
Radio Telescope

AUT University's Institute for Radio Astronomy and Space Research (IRASR) and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at Curtin University in Perth made a significant contribution to Australia – New Zealand SKA (Square Kilometre Array) development this week with a successful, high-speed data transfer trial.

Data from AUT’s 12-metre radio telescope at Warkworth recorded during joint Trans-Tasman radio astronomical  observations of radio galaxy Centaurus A, was successfully transferred to Curtin University at 1Gb/s.   It took less than one hour to transfer 0.5 TeraByte of radio astronomical data from AUT to Curtin.

This was made possible by the recent upgrade of KAREN’s (Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network) international connectivity between New Zealand and Australia from 155 Mb/s to 1 Gb/s. KAREN’s new international network went live on 15 November and provides the only research link between New Zealand and Australia. The new, upgraded service provides 1 Gb/s capacity to both Sydney and Los Angeles, greatly enhancing the opportunity for KAREN members to communicate and collaborate with the global research and education community.

Professor Sergei Gulyaev from AUT University says: “I congratulate Research and Education Advanced Network NZ Limited (REANNZ) and the New Zealand KAREN community for securing such a significant upgrade of international connectivity.  For us New Zealand radio astronomers it opens up the opportunity for real-time operations and allows us to move from the technique of VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) to its real-time version, e-VLBI, the basic technique for future SKA.”

Professor Steven Tingay from Curtin University says: “This is a very important milestone towards Australian-New Zealand SKA development. Electronic data transfer for the large data volumes generated in radio astronomy is an important technique that enables the maximum science to be extracted from our observations.  This milestone will allow a wide range of science to be jointly undertaken by Australian and New Zealand radio astronomers”.

Donald Clark, CEO of REANNZ says “KAREN’s upgraded international network was specifically designed to meet the increasing capacity demands of our members and ensure New Zealand’s continued participation in leading-edge, international science like the SKA. We're truly impressed by the Australasian SKA community's enthusiasm which saw them take advantage of the full 1Gb/s capacity only two days after the network went live.”