Forrestfield engineer making waves internationally for work in radio astronomy


Curtin University masters student and staff member Daniel Ung of Forrestfield. Picture: Martin Kennealey d473378
Curtin University masters student and staff member Daniel Ung of Forrestfield. Picture: Martin Kennealey d473378

FORRESTFIELD engineer Daniel Ung (25) is making waves internationally for his behind the scenes work in supporting Western Australia’s progression as an ongoing force in radio astronomy.

He has already been recognised on the global stage as one of the world’s best students in the FEKO competition, an annual international contest organised in support of engineering education and academic excellence.

Mr Ung said his work as a support engineer at the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy was essential in ensuring scientists were getting the most accurate picture possible when observing outer space.

“Astronomers are interested in radio signals originating from the cosmos however, radio telescopes will modify this incoming signal,” he said.

“If astronomers know the response of the radio telescope, they can successfully remove the effects of the telescope.

“I am working on estimating the effects of instrumental noise and how this effects the incoming radio signal.

“It is analogous to trying to quantify the effects of the set top box on the incoming TV signal.

“If the set top box introduces too much noise/interference, it will degrade the video quality.

Likewise with radio telescope if the telescope introduces too much noise, it will affect the resulting image quality and in this case it could introduce false artefacts in the image.”

Mr Ung said WA had emerged as a world leader in radio astronomy.

“The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) is a joint venture between Curtin University, University of Western Australia and the State Government and was formed to deliver the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) here in WA.

“The SKA boasts to be the largest radio telescope in the world and aims to answer key science issues that are impossible with current radio telescopes.”

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