Centre for Astrophysics (CA)

University of Southern Queensland

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View of Mt Kent Observatory at night

The Centre for Astrophysics delivers internationally-cited astronomical and space sciences research with the highest possible rating of “well above world standard” in the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia framework. Staff and students collaborate with researchers at leading international institutions in the USA, Europe, and Asia to discover and characterise the many new worlds orbiting stars other than the Sun, and study the shared evolution of stars and their planetary systems and the implications for planetary habitability. Research activity includes observational surveys using major international and national telescope facilities, numerical modelling of orbital dynamics using USQ’s High Performance Computing cluster, and instrumentation development in photonics. USQ operates Mt Kent Observatory, Queensland's only professional research observatory in astronomical and space sciences.

Website https://www.usq.edu.au/research/institutes-centres/centre-for-astrophysics

Key science sectors

Strengths and capabilities

  • Numerical modelling
  • Big data analytics
  • Supersonic and hypersonic wind tunnel testing
  • Astronomical and space sciences
  • Physics
  • Photonics (imaging, photometry, spectroscopy, spectropolarimetry)
  • Tomographic imaging
  • Re-entry observation and analysis
  • Observational surveys using major international and national telescopes

Facilities and major equipment

  • Astronomical observatory for imaging and spectroscopy
  • High Performance Computing cluster
  • Mt Kent Observatory
  • Hypersonic wind tunnel laboratory
  • Rheometer
  • Stellar seismology node for the Stellar Observations Network Group
  • SMARTnet geostationary space debris monitoring telescope operated by the German Aerospace Center

Number of research staff

Upto 20 research staff

Address

West Street, Building Q, Level 3, Toowoomba, 4350

Lead researchers

Achievements of the centre

  • Discovery and characterisation of over 40 new planets beyond the solar system.
  • The hypersonic wind tunnel at USQ performs critical aerodynamic experiments for significant international aerospace research programs.
  • Invention of the Integrated Radial Basis Function method for accurate and efficient solution of differential equations.

Organisation type

  • University Research Centre

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