CSIRO and U.S. telecommunications giant TRW have formed a strategic
alliance to develop high-performance gallium arsenide and indium
phosphide components for radio astronomy, advanced millimetre-wave
sensors and telecommunications systems.

Velocium, TRW’s telecommunication products company, and CSIRO have
already worked together on upgrading CSIRO’s Australia Telescope, the
Southern Hemisphere’s premier radio telescope.

Indium phosphide (InP) low-noise amplifiers and digital receiver chips,
designed by CSIRO engineers and fabricated by Velocium, were a key part
of the upgrade.

The telescope now operates at frequencies up to 100 billion cycles per
second (100 GHz) and has just produced new, detailed observations of
Centaurus A, the nearest galaxy known to harbour a supermassive black

"We’ll now be able to trace for the first time the path of this gas as
it feeds the black hole," said Professor Ron Ekers, Director of the
Australia Telescope National Facility.

"The Australia Telescope is a demanding test bed for our InP chips. The
extremely high frequencies allow astronomers to take pictures of new
phenomena with greater detail than ever before," said Dr Dwight Streit,
president of Velocium.

"Velocium’s InP chips are helping improve the science of astronomy now,
and will soon be helping improve the performance of other sensor and
telecommunication systems."

CSIRO started working with TRW in 1993, and in 1999 gained early access
to TRW’s InP technology for exploratory research, which helped expedite
the technology’s development.

Research done under the new strategic alliance will have applications
from vehicle guidance to the detection of concealed weapons and

Velocium is part of TRW Space & Electronics, an operating unit of TRW
Inc. TRW provides advanced technology products and services for the
aerospace, telecommunications, automotive and information technology
markets worldwide. TRW’s news releases can be found at www.trw.com .

More information:

Ms Helen Sim

Communications Manager, Australia Telescope National Facility

Helen.Sim@csiro.au, +61-2-9372 4251, Mobile: 0419-635-905

Mr Jack Prichett

Media Relations Manager, TRW

jack.prichett@trw.com, +1-310-812-5227

Prof. Ron Ekers

Director, CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility

(in Berkeley, California) +1-510-642-7768 (work), +1-510-548-2223

(home) Ron.Ekers@csiro.au

Dr John Archer

CSIRO Telecommunications and Industrial Physics

John.Archer@csiro.au, +61-2-9372-4456

High Resolution images:

* Five antennas of CSIRO’s Australia Telescope. Photo: CSIRO. [249KB]

* An Australia Telescope receiver incorporating the new indium phosphide
chips fabricated by TRW Velocium. Photo: CSIRO. [224KB]

* One of the new indium phosphide chips for the Australia Telescope
receivers. Photo: CSIRO [187KB]

* The powerful southern galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128). Centaurus A is the
nearest galaxy known to contain a supermassive black hole. Copyright
Anglo-Australian Observatory. Photo: David Malin. Note: This photograph
is supplied solely for use in connection with this news release. [605KB]

* Galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128) overlaid with a spectrum indicating HCO+
molecules moving rapidly around the galaxy’s central black hole.
Photograph by David Malin; copyright Anglo-Australian Observatory.
Spectrum: B. S. Koribalski / CSIRO. [1.6MB]


Ms Rosie Schmedding 


CSIRO National Awareness

PO Box 225

Dickson ACT 2602

Phone: +61 2 6276 6520

Fax: +61 2 6276 6821

Mobile: +61 0418 622 653

Email: Rosie.Schmedding@nap.csiro.au

Ms Helen Sim 

Sector Communicator

Australia Telescope National Facility

PO Box 76

Marsfield NSW 1710

Phone: +61 2 9372 4251

Fax: +61 2 9372 4310

Email: hsim@atnf.csiro.au