Further information about SuperDARN activities in Australia and the Buckland Park radar can be found at

http://www.tiger.latrobe.edu.au/(external link)

http://www.latrobe.edu.au/news/announcements/2014/la-trobes-digital-tiger-radar(external link)

From the text of the Press Release from La Trobe University (dated: November 25, 2014):

La Trobe radar system wins national engineering excellence award

La Trobe University’s new TIGER-3 digital radar system has won this year’s Australian Engineering Excellence Award for Innovation.

The annual awards by the nation’s peak engineering body celebrate the finest engineering accomplishments in Australia.

They were presented at this week’s Engineers Australia Convention, which has attracted more than 5,000 delegates to Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The new $1.7 million instrument, installed at Buckland Park, South Australia, was designed and constructed by La Trobe University electronic engineers and physicists. Earlier this year it took out the Victorian section of the award. .

The radar is operated remotely from La Trobe University's main Melbourne campus at Bundoora, and is used by research groups both in Australia and Internationally It is the most sophisticated system of its kind in the world for research into the upper atmosphere and how space weather and solar flares impact on global communication and navigation infrastructure.

TIGER stands for Tasman International Geospace Environment Radar, and is a five-member consortium of universities and government organisations that operates three radar systems. TIGER is lead by La Trobe and includes the Universities of Newcastle and Adelaide

While the previous two TIGER radars in southern Tasmania and New Zealand have been successful, the TIGER-3 radar offers scientists far greater sensitivity, increased range and a much wider field of view than existing analogue instruments.

Providing coverage from mid-latitudes just south of Australia all the way to the polar regions over Antarctica, the radar helps study the motion of the upper atmosphere, called the ionosphere, 100 to 500 km above the Earth's surface.

Project leader Professor John Devlin said the win was a great credit to the team of some 20 researchers and technicians who competed against 36 other finalist projects for Engineering Excellence Awards, many commercial projects funded for hundreds of millions of dollars.

‘I would particularly like to thank (Emeritus Professor of Physics) Peter Dyson for his vision and guidance in forming the TIGER group all those years ago, and his continued contribution.’

Professor Devlin said the new digital radar has already attracted international attention. One has been sold to the British Antarctic Survey while another, built by South Africa's National Space Agency, is deployed in Antarctica. Nagoya University in Japan has shown interest in a third for its Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory.

Credit: Ernest Raetz, La Trobe University Media Contact