1944 We pioneered the new field of radio astronomy in Australia, observing the Sun using new techniques and equipment at several sites in Sydney.
1949 CSIRAC, or CSIR Mk 1, Australia's first digital computer and fifth in the world, became operational. It was developed by our Radiophysics Division.
1961 Shortly after its opening, in 1962, the telescope tracked NASA’s Mariner 2 spacecraft as it flew by the planet Venus, marking the start of our longstanding relationship with NASA. After nearly 60 years' of service, the telescope remains one of the world’s leading radio telescopes thanks to regular technology upgrades.
1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing signals received by our Parkes radio telescope and NASA’s Honeysuckle Creek station near Canberra. 600 million people around the world watched the televised broadcast.
1979 We started acquiring and archiving satellite data for the Australian Government. This data underpins research from inland water, bushfire and land use mapping, to ocean colour monitoring and minerals exploration.
1983 We started an R&D program with the goal of placing Australian-designed antennas on the second generation AUSSAT satellites. Our work helped to revolutionise the satellite industry.
1989 Our longstanding research alliance with aerospace company Boeing commenced. Along with data analytics, our alliance will go onto develop breakthrough technologies in coatings and advanced materials, energy and direct manufacturing.
1992 Launch of the first AUSSAT-B satellite, for which we designed and built a prototype antenna for the Western Australia spot beam antenna.
1996 Our Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) patent was granted, making fast WiFi possible. This was developed from our deep understanding of radio waves and is now used in billions of devices.
1996 We were given responsibility by the Australian Government to provide oversight of the treaty relationship between Australia and the United States for spacecraft communications and tracking at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.
2002 Launch of FedSat, Australia’s third scientific satellite. We collaborated with universities and private companies on its design and construction.
2006 The ‘Sentinel Hotspots’ demonstration system for bushfire tracking across Australia, developed in collaboration with the Department of Defence, Geoscience Australia and the US Forest Service, was transferred for routine operational service to Geoscience Australia. Today it uses data from multiple US and Japanese satellites to provide up-to-date public information on bushfires across all of Australia via the web.
2013 Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, our joint venture with university and Western Australian Government partners, became operational. It is used to process big radio astronomy data sets coming from Australia’s Square Kilometre Array precursor telescopes as well as for other data-intensive science.
2015 The LIGO-Virgo consortium detected gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein. Our team coated many of the optics used in the ‘Advanced LIGO’ instrumentation, including ultra-high performance optical mirrors.
2016 Our focus on data continued with the launch of our new leading data innovation group, business unit Data61.
2017 Our newest radio telescope, ASKAP in remote Western Australia, formally started science observations. It is the fastest survey radio telescope in the world.
2017 We signed an agreement for a share in NovaSAR, one of the world's most sophisticated new satellites, that will make Earth observation data on the Asia-Pacific region more readily available. The satellite is due for launch in 2018.
2017 A CubeSat featuring a secure software system base ‘microkernel’, seL4, developed by our Data61 team was launched from the International Space Station for the QB50 project.
2018 We agreed with Boeing, our long-term R&D partner, to work together on emerging space technologies.
2018 After blasting off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India, NovaSAR-1 will enter a commissioning period to be managed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. CSIRO is a data share partner in the satellite.
2018 Key opportunities for growing Australia’s space economy are outlined in our latest industry roadmap.