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Radio quiet in the Mid West

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​The following information provides an introduction to radio quiet and coexistence in the Mid West.

Background 

Western Australia’s Mid West region has been selected to co-host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA will be the world’s largest and most powerful radio telescope and involves scientists and engineers from all over the world.

The SKA will be centred on and around the existing Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO). The MRO is already home to CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the international Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescopes.

Map showing location of MRO and Boolardy 

Radio quiet zone

The Australian and Western Australian Governments have established a radio quiet zone to protect this world-class radio astronomy site while allowing for opportunities for coexistence with other activities in the region.

A radio quiet zone is an area in which signal levels from radiocommunications equipment (such as television transmitters, mobile telephones and CB radios) and electrical devices are controlled to limit interference to radio telescopes.

Why radio quiet?

Radio telescopes are designed to detect extremely faint radio signals from space. They are very sensitive to interference caused by other radio transmissions and electrical equipment. The remote Murchison region is one of the best sites in the world for radio astronomy as it has relatively few sources of interference compared with other more populated areas. 

This website provides a general introduction to the radio quiet zone and is not a substitute for the relevant regulatory documents.