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Scholarship details

2023 RTP round - Polarization calibration of low-frequency radio telescopes

Status: Closed

Applications open: 8/07/2022
Applications close: 18/08/2022

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

The state of polarization of radio sources such as the percentage, type and angle of polarization convey significant astrophysical information. The process of determining polarization information (polarimetry) with a low-frequency phased array telescope depends on multiple steps of calibration and modelling, each of which demands high precision and is challenging. These factors complicate efforts to repeatably and accurately model the telescope beam over all frequencies and pointing directions for polarimetry. Furthermore, calibration of the phased array telescope for polarimetry requires constraining the phase and/or delay between the dual polarized antenna, which in the case of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) are orthogonally polarized dipoles (called “X” and “Y”), which we call X/Y phase. Similar considerations apply to the next generation low-frequency radio telescope, the low-frequency Square Kilometre Array (SKA-Low).

X/Y phase calibration is not critical in intensity-only observation or imaging. However in polarimetry, proper X/Y phase information is essential. The objective of the project is to design a method to calibrate X/Y phase by direct measurement and devise the most appropriate technique given the conditions and constraints of the telescope operation in Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO). This includes considerations and proper engineering to ensure that the method of measurement is deployable, is repeatable and minimizes potential interference at the MRO. 

An Internship opportunity may also be available with this project.

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Science & Engineering
    • Science courses
    • Engineering courses
    • Western Australian School of Mines (WASM)
  • Higher Degree by Research
  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • Merit Based

The annual scholarship package (stipend and tuition fees) is approx. $60,000 - $70,000 p.a.


Successful HDR applicants for admission will receive a 100% fee offset for up to 4 years, stipend scholarships, valued at $28,854 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3.5 years, are determined via a competitive selection process. Applicants will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2022. 


For detailed information, visit: Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships | Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Scholarship Details


All applicable HDR courses

First class honours in engineering, astronomy, physics, or other relevant disciplines. Keen interest in signal processing, radio frequency/microwave instrumentation, numerical and analytical methods. Background in radio frequency and/or astronomy with some research experience is desirable but not required 

Application process

If this project excites you, and your research skills and experience are a good fit for this specific project, you should contact the Project Lead (listed below in the enquires section) via the Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

Enrolment Requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2023


To enquire about this project opportunity that includes a scholarship application, contact the Project lead, Dr Adrian Sutinjo via the EOI form above.

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