The Desert Fireball Network is part of the Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University, and a member of the Global Fireball Observatory collaboration.
The Desert Fireball Network is an inter-disciplinary research group looking to uncover the mysteries surrounding the formation of the solar system through the study of meteorites, fireballs and their pre-Earth orbits.
First established in 2005 as a trial of three remote operated film cameras to observe meteors falling towards Earth’s surface, the DFN at Curtin University is now a national distributed network of over 50 disruption-tolerant and fully autonomous digital observatories that continually monitor 3 million square km of the night sky – a third of Australian skies, all night, every night. Using intelligent imaging systems, automated data reduction pipeline, real time server-side triangulation and supercomputer data management system, the DFN captures the paths of fireballs in the sky, triangulating trajectories from multiple viewpoints, linking the rock’s pre-Earth orbit to its landing site for recovery.
Together with partners across the world, the DFN is expanding to become a Global Fireball Observatory with stations internationally to observe these phenomena. Recovering meteorites with known orbits helps to address some of the biggest questions in planetary science: how our planetary system came into being, and how dust and gas produced a planet capable of supporting life – our Earth.
Meet the team who designs autonomous intelligent observatories, able to work in the Canadian polar winter as well as survive the Australian desert
Covering all continents
How we deal with 4TB of new data every day
How big is that space rock?
Let’s find space rocks!
science is fun
From taking pictures to triangulated orbits.
Adapting DFN technology to Space Situational Awareness