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Scholarship details

2025 RTP round - From Observation to Mitigation: Leveraging LSST, the Global Fireball Observatory, and DREAMS to Prepare for Asteroid Impacts.

Status: Open

Applications open: 1/07/2024
Applications close: 18/08/2024

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

 

Project Overview

The threat of asteroid impacts on Earth necessitates the detection and tracking of potentially hazardous asteroids to develop effective mitigation strategies. This PhD project aims to explore the combined use of the Vera Rubin Observatory (Legacy Survey of Space and Time - LSST) and the Global Fireball Observatory for identifying asteroids impacting the Earth. The upcoming Australian Dynamic REd All-sky Monitoring Survey (DREAMS)’s high-cadence near-infrared observations will open a new parameter space on the asteroid population. With proprietary access to these three world class facilities, the candidate for this project will be in a unique position to push our knowledge of asteroids in our Solar System, and specifically the ones that can threaten the Earth.

 

Aims

The main aim of this PhD project is to advance our understanding of the asteroid population and its potential impact on Earth by using LSST and fireball networks to detect and track potentially hazardous asteroids. 


The secondary aim to to make use of cutting-edge data from the Australian DREAMS telescope infrared survey, a so far poorly explored parameter space for asteroid characterisation.

 

Objectives

To achieve these aims, this PhD project will focus on the following objectives: 

  • Use LSST observations to detect and track potentially hazardous asteroids, and to study their orbits, sizes, shapes, and compositions.
  • Develop and test new algorithms and software tools for combining LSST and Global Fireball Observatory observations to improve our understanding of the asteroid impacting population on Earth.
  • Process the DREAMS infrared telescope data to retrieve asteroids, generate an observation catalogue, and exploit the catalogue to derive physical properties of asteroids.

 

Significance 

This PhD project has significant scientific and practical significance. Scientifically, it will advance our understanding of the asteroid population and its potential impact on Earth, and it will contribute to efforts to protect Earth from potential asteroid impacts. Practically, it will develop and test new algorithms and software tools for analysing LSST and DREAMS data, which can be used by astronomers and planetary 
defence experts to detect and track potentially hazardous asteroids, and to develop and implement mitigation strategies. Overall, this project will contribute to the ongoing efforts to study asteroids and their potential impact on Earth, and to protect our planet from potential catastrophic events.

This project will be hosted within the Desert Fireball Network team (DFN). The DFN is a high-performing research group at Curtin, integrated in the Space Science and technology Centre and the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy. The candidate will have proprietary access to three world-class instruments: Curtin’s Desert Fireball Network and the Global Fireball Observatory Collaboration, the Vera Rubin observatory (LSST), and the Dynamic REd All-sky Monitoring Survey (DREAMS).

An internship may be available for this project. The image processing techniques on asteroids can equally be applied to Space Situational Awareness (SSA, inc. satellite tracking), which will make the skills developed attractive to companies doing developing SSA capabilities.

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Science & Engineering
    • Science courses
    • Engineering courses
  • Higher Degree by Research
  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • International Student
  • Merit Based

The annual scholarship package, covering both stipend and tuition fees, amounts to approximately $70,000 per year.

In 2024, the RTP stipend scholarship offers $35,000 per annum for a duration of up to three years. Exceptional progress and adherence to timelines may qualify students for a six-month completion scholarship.

Selection for these scholarships involves a competitive process, with shortlisted applicants notified of outcomes by November 2024.

Scholarship Details

1

All applicable HDR courses.

Astronomy, image processing, data science.

 

Application process

Please send your CV, academic transcripts and brief rationale why you want to join this research project via the HDR Expression of Interest form to the project lead researcher, listed below. 

Enrolment Requirements

You must be enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2025.

Enquiries

Project Lead: Professor Hadrien Devillepoix

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