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Gingin Gravity Precinct

Unravelling the mysteries of the universe

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The Gingin Gravity Precinct is situated on the Swan Coastal Plain, 80km north of Perth and UWA’s campus. Established in 1998 with support of the Western Australian Government, the 4.7-hectare site is surrounded by natural woodland with high species diversity.

High Optical Power Facility

Gingin Gravity Precinct is home to the High Optical Power Facility (HOPF) of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), operated by UWA. This facility consist of two 80m long optical cavities, configured in an L-shape, suspended by high performance vibration isolation systems in a high vacuum enclosure. The facility also has cleanrooms that host high power lasers and optical equipment, as well as a mechanical workshop and an accommodation block for researchers. A large seismic sensor array is being installed for suppressing low frequency noise of gravitational wave detectors, as well as geophysical studies.  

The HOPF is the only facility in the world that has large scaled suspended cavities with mirror to laser power ratio that is comparable to the current km-scale advanced gravitational wave detectors such as LIGO detectors. This allow us to investigate high optical power related issues and techniques for improved gravitational wave detectors. This important research collaboration played a significant role in the momentous discovery of the first gravitational wave events in 2015. 

The Gingin High Optical Power Facility enables the research on techniques for improving the sensitivities of the current gravitational wave detectors and for the future 3rd generation detectors. It also provides a possible site for km-scale southern hemisphere gravitational wave detector.  

Zadko Telescope

The Zadko telescope is a 1.0 metre f/4 robotic telescope initially funded by a generous donation from James Zadko. The Zadko telescope has opened a new window to the ‘Transient Universe’ - a universe that is filled with fleeting flashes of light originating from the most exotic phenomena in the cosmos. 

It is the only metre class facility in Australia dedicated to automated follow-up imaging of alerts or triggers received from different external instruments/detectors. It plays a niche role in Australian astronomy, as it is located at a longitude not covered by other metre class facilities and provides an important resource for time-critical projects.  

The Zadko telescope:

  • Increases the discovery of optical transients in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Identifies and tracks Asteroids and space debris to ensure the safety of future space missions
  • Partners with industry for Research and Development in satellite tracking
  • Works with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the search for the source of gravitational waves
  • Is an important part of a global network of robotic telescopes located in France, Chile and Australia, for the discovery of exotic transients

Falcon telescope

The Falcon Telescope at the Gingin Gravity Precinct is one of twelve observatory sites across the globe, which make up the Falcon Telescope Network (FTN). The FTN is a research network of 0.5m f/8.1 semi-autonomous optical telescopes situated around the globe. The network is sponsored by the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and provides optical observation of space-borne objects.

Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory

The  is an exciting, independent, not-for-profit science education centre designed to encourage young people to take up science and engineering careers. 

Visitors can experience hands-on science exhibits and learn about the latest discoveries in science and technology and their relevance to everyday life. The Observatory offers night tours, education and Aboriginal Astronomy sessions where visitors can learn about the Aboriginal Dreamtime stories of creation.

Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory work closely with UWA on important research projects including an Australian Research Council project teaching Einsteinian Physics

The Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory are also working hard to have the Gingin Gravity Precinct deemed an official dark sky reserve to preserve the night sky and limit surrounding light pollution.

Our impact

Working with the Gingin Gravity Precinct

Contact us

Phone

(+61 8) 6488 2005
8.30am–5.00pm (AWST), Monday to Friday

Email

[email protected]

Location

1098 Military Road, Yeal WA 6503 (Entrance 4).

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