Astronomy project boldly going to contract

Local industry in Western Australia is participating in an astronomy project to build a radio telescope.

Fremantle based company, Poseidon Scientific Instruments has been awarded a $1.3 million contract to work on the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA).

The MWA is a radio telescope designed to undertake astrophysical studies of celestial objects as close as the sun and as distant as stars and galaxies formed 13 billion years ago.

Science and Innovation Minister, John Day said Poseidon’s initial work to design, prototype and integrate the complex electronics within the MWA has resulted in the company winning the contract to build the electronics for the telescope’s full scale construction.

“Poseidon’s innovative technical solution demonstrates the capacity and capability of the state’s local businesses to solve highly complex problems for leading edge projects,” Mr Day said.

Mr Day said Poseidon has diversified and grown its business to be well placed to tender for future contracts in this area through its involvement in the MWA.

With collaboration between institutions from Australia, the United States, New Zealand and India, the MWA is being developed by the Perth based International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in the state’s mid-west.

Mr Day said there are developments and opportunities in many other key areas of the economy as local industry participation is not limited to the resources sector.

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