In modern astronomy, high performance computing applications and next generation observatories are producing datasets measured in Petabytes and Exabytes. Increasingly, these data are produced in real-time requiring immediate attention and action.  The dramatic growth in the volume and velocity of data in astronomy requires new approaches for analysis and visualisation.   

Through our research focus on Data-Intensive Astronomy and Astronomical Software, we are developing, testing and applying new methods for discovery and insight.  This includes creating innovative and optimised algorithms, applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and the adoption of advanced visualisation solutions for individual and collaborative data exploration. Underpinning our research is our use of high-performance computing and graphics processing units, and a commitment to helping grow the international community through open source software, solutions and training.

  • “CAS astronomers and engineers from the top institutes in the world are developing the Keck Wide-Field Imager.  It will be the most powerful camera in the world and will enable Australian and Keck astronomers to do science and discover new phenomena that cannot be done anywhere else, or by anyone else, even using future giant 30 metre-class telescopes.”

    Associate Professor Jeff Cooke , Centre of Astrophysics and Supercomputing

The Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing (CAS) leads or is a key player in a number of astronomical instrumentation projects spanning the electromagnetic spectrum. CAS astronomers have a long history of designing and building novel software and hardware solutions that are deployed on the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope and at the Molonglo Synthesis Telescope, and are contributing to next-general radio observatories in Australia and South Africa.

In the optical, CAS is developing a real-time laser adaptive optics computing system and the world’s most powerful optical camera for the Keck telescopes in Hawaii.  In the infrared, CAS astronomers are building wide-field infrared telescopes and cameras for use in Australia and the Antarctic, as well as developing CubeSat telescopes for space. Closer to earth, CAS is contributing to the development of the SABRE Dark Matter detector located at the bottom of an active goldmine in the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory.

Did you know?

Swinburne University co-hosts the Astronomy Data and Computing Services (ADACS) team. ADACS brings together a talented group of software engineers, data scientists and astronomers to provide training, support and expertise. ADACS is also helping astronomers to maximise the scientific return from data and computing infrastructure.

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Our projects

Cyber-human discovery systems 

As the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence increases, new methods are required to support astronomers in discovery and decision-making processes. We are transferring these ideas beyond astronomy to various data-driven industry contexts.

For more information, contact Professor Christopher Fluke.

Real-time terascale visualisation 

Using advanced computing and visualisation solutions, we are addressing the unique challenges of real-time visualisation at the terabyte scale and beyond.

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Software tools for timing galactic clocks 

Radio pulsars are like cosmic lighthouses, but ones that spin so predictably that their beams of radio emission can be used like interstellar clocks. We develop new software tools and techniques to process radio pulsar data and allow them to be used to test the correctness of our best model of gravity, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. 

Radio interferometer digital signal processing 

In order to make sharp images of the radio sky, multiple radio telescopes must be used in concert as a radio interferometer. At the heart of these networks of radio telescopes lies a digital processing machine called a correlator, and Swinburne has led the way in the development of a general-purpose, reusable correlator called DiFX that has been adopted by numerous international facilities.

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Kunlun Infrared Sky Survey is the first transient survey carried out in the near infrared. Kunlun Station is at Dome A on the Antarctic plateau and is operated remotely during the winter.

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Underpinning our research is our use of high-performance computing and graphics processing units, and a commitment to helping grow the international community through open source software, solutions and training.


Detection of WIMP dark matter using a sodium iodide target with active background rejection in the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory.

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The Deeper, Wider, Faster (DWF) program

DWF coordinates over 70 telescopes on every continent and in space at all wavelengths, including particle detectors, to detect and follow up fast (millisecond-to-hours duration), transients and very early transient detections in real-time.

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Software and solutions

As part of our research, we have created a number of programs to process, analyse and visualise data.

S2PLOT A flexible interactive 3D graphics library in C, including support for multiple display environments and generation of 3D-PDF figures
Encube Supporting large-scale comparative visualisation of sets of multidimensional data through the use of Tiled Display Walls
Shwirl Real-time colouring and filtering of 3D volumetric data sets using graphics shaders on graphics processing units
GraphTIVA Tera-scale astronomical data analysis and visualisation for 3D volumetric data sets, designed to meet the requirements of the Australian SKA Pathfinder
GBKFIT Kinematic modelling of disk galaxies using graphics processing units
GPU-D Teraflop per second gravitational lensing ray-shooting with graphics processing units
Corrfunc Fastest publicly available correlation function code to help statistically constrain which galaxies live in what kind of dark matter halos
SAGE Semi-Analytic Galaxy Evolution - Create your own universe of simulated galaxies from dark matter halos

Our people

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Contact the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing

If you have any questions, or are looking for more information, feel free to contact our office on +61 3 9214 8000 or at

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