Science infrastructure around Australia

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

  • The OPAL research reactorOPAL Research Reactor: The OPAL reactor is one of the world’s most
    effective multi-purpose research reactors.
  • Centre for Accelerator Science: Accelerators have a vast array of applications used in fields from archaeology through to zoology.
  • Bragg Institute: The Bragg Institute use a range of neutron scattering and
    X-ray techniques to solve complex problems.
  • Cyclotron facility: The cyclotron allows us to investigate neurological disorders and many other diseases.
  • Australian Synchrotron: The Australian Synchrotron facilitates research in medicine, agriculture and nanotechnology.

For more information visit the ANSTO website

Square Kilometre Array (SKA)

The Murchison Radio-Astronomy ObservatoryThe Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is one of the most ambitious science infrastructure projects Australia has ever embarked on. It is an international effort to build a next-generation radio telescope with capabilities far exceeding those of any existing radio telescope.

Co-hosted in Australia and South Africa, the SKA will be used by international scientists to make ground-breaking observations and discoveries about the Universe including in the areas of the epoch of re‑ionisation, pulsars, black holes, earth-like planets and gravitational waves. The continued development of advanced instrumentation throughout the SKA programme will increasingly enable scientists to make previously un-thought-of transformational discoveries.

SKA infrastructure in Australia will be situated at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in the Mid West region of Western Australia. This site currently hosts two SKA precursor telescopes: the Murchison Widefield Array and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder. These precursors were built to help with the development and testing of new technologies and capabilities before the full deployment of SKA1- Low, one of two main instruments in SKA phase 1. Construction of SKA1-Low, a wide-field, low-frequency aperture array of more than 130,000 dipole antennas, will commence in Murchison from 2018.

For more information visit the SKA website.


  • interior view of QuestaconThe National Science and Technology Centre: Questacon strives to promote greater understanding and awareness of science and technology within the community. We're committed to making that experience fun, interactive, and relevant.
  • The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre: The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre (IPTLC) stimulates an interest and awareness of the way things are made, shows how components fit together and demonstrates how innovation can solve everyday problems—from simple devices to higher end technology.

For more information visit the Questacon website.

Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) 

  • The Anglo-Australian Telescope: The AAT is used to study individual stars and galaxies, as well as performing large-scale surveys and searches.

  • UK Schmidt Telescope: The UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) is a survey telescope with an aperture of 1.2 metres and a very wide-angle field of view. The telescope was commissioned in 1973 and, until 1988, was operated by the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. It became part of the AAO in June 1988.

For more information visit the AAO website.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

CSIRO is the pre-eminent manager of a number of significant national facilities and collections that are opened to industry and researchers around Australia and overseas. Below are some examples of CSIRO's national facilities.

    AAHL Staff sitting at computers
  • Research Vessel Investigator: Investigator is a new state-of-the-art marine research vessel, supporting Australia’s atmospheric, oceanographic, biological and geosciences research from the tropical north to the Antarctic ice-edge. The Marine National Facility's new research vessel Investigator will enable researchers to head out into the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans to: undertake deep sea oceanography, map and study the geology of Australia's marine estate to underpin resource exploration, monitor and better understand our fisheries, and learn more about our weather patterns and large ocean processes.

  • Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL): AAHL helps protect Australia's multi-billion livestock and aquaculture industries, and the general public, from emerging infectious disease threats. It is a high-containment facility designed to allow scientific research into the most dangerous infectious agents in the world.
  • Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF): The ATNF is one of the world's most advanced radio astronomy facilities, and the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere. It comprises radio telescopes at three observatories in New South Wales: the Parkes radio telescope, the Australia telescope Array near Narrabri and the Mopra radio telescope at Coonabarabran. Additionally the ATNF is constructing a next-generation radio telescope, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder in remote Western Australia.
  • Marine National Facility (MNF): The MNF is Australia's only dedicated blue-water ocean research facility. It enables marine scientists employed by Australian research organisations and their international collaborators to undertake world-class research in our vast marine estate.
  • Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex: Located at Tidbinbilla, the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex is one of three Deep Space Network stations around the world: the others are located in Spain and California. Together, the three stations provide around-the-clock contact with more than 40 spacecraft, including missions to study Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, comets the Moon and the Sun.
  • Pawsey Supercomputing Centre: The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is a world-class supercomputing centre in Kensington, Western Australia. It hosts new facilities, expertise and infrastructure to support advanced research in astronomy and geoscience. the main aim of the Centre is to support the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) pathfinder research, geoscience and other high-end science.

For more information visit the CSIRO website.

National Measurement Institute

The National Measurement Institute's (NMI) capabilities, products and services provide an infrastructure for all aspects of measurement, from accurate and precise measurements for scientific purposes to practical, fit-for-purpose measurements for everyday commercial usage and the span of all measurements in between.

NMI has highly specialised laboratories and expertise in measurement that can benefit industry, trade and government.

For more information visit the NMI website.​​​​​​​​​​​

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