Specialist Node > Astronomy from Space

Extragalactic astrophysics and gravitational wave physics are stand-out strengths at The University of Western Australia (UWA). While these research fields are primarily about studying the Universe from the ground, they also use space-based facilities to bypass fundamental limitations set by the Earth’s size and atmosphere.

Galaxy evolution seen through space telescopes

Our group for Distant Universe and Space Telescope Science, led by Professor Simon Driver, is part of the UWA node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. This group is heavily involved in many of the space telescopes operated by NASA and ESA, such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

Our role in these projects involves providing ground-based measurements of spectra as well as the rapid analysis of space imaging data, which we then combine to produce both impactful research and advanced databases for use by astronomers around the world.

As much of the space-telescope data is downlinked through Australian based facilities, we are expanding our capabilities to provide robust and rapid data analysis on behalf of NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Telescope and ESA’s Euclid Telescope. We are also developing the capacity to process data from upcoming Australian Space Telescopes such as the Space Industry Responsive Intelligent Thermal satellite joint funded by the Australian Space Agency, Australian space industry companies, and the Italian Space Agency.

Space Telescopes Partners and Collaborators

  • NASA (Goddard and JPL)
  • ESA
  • ESO
  • Arizona State University
  • Space Telescope Science Institute
  • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
  • University of Melbourne
  • GAMA Survey
  • DEVIL Survey

Gravitational wave astronomy

Our team, led by Professor Linqing Wen, is probing our Universe using the emerging astronomical messenger of gravitational waves (GW). We will transfer signal-processing technologies developed for ground-based gravitational wave detectors to observations from space, as well as combine gravitational wave and electromagnetic (EM) information for breakthrough science and for a better understanding of our astrophysical Universe.

Our strengths include:

  • Methods and strategies to detect GWs from space
  • Studies of GW sources suitable for joint space-ground detections
  • Joint GW-EM coincidence detection and astrophysical implications
  • Cosmology using GW signals detected from space and the ground

ISC Gravitational Wave Astronomy Team

  • Professor Linqing Wen
  • Mr Damon Beveridge
  • Mr Chayan Chatterjee
  • Mr Alistair Mcleod
  • Mr Carlo Mungioli
  • Ms Siqi Zhong
  • Mr Scott Hardie
  • Mr Manoj Kovalam

Gravitational Wave Astronomy Partners and Collaborators

  • International LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA Collaboration
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)
  • International LISA Consortium for Space GW Detection
  • ELISA Science

Radio Interferometric Observations from Space (RIOS)

Our group for Radio-Astronomy Interferometric Observations from Space (RIOS), co-led by Drs Richard Dodson and Maria Rioja, is part of the UWA Node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research with strong international collaborations into next-generation observatories.

Our major effort currently is in the definition of the instrumental specifications and requirements for the Russian Astro-Space Centre mission Millimetron. This extremely challenging mission proposes to improve the Event Horizon Telescope results by increasing the frequency by 50% and locating one antenna in space for joint observations with ground telescopes. Both of these two aspects introduce huge challenges, that can only be overcome with innovative observational and analysis methods.



  • Dr Richard Dodson (Node Leader)
  • Dr Maria Rioja (Node Leader)

RIOS Partners and Collaborators