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.

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About Us

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.

Seen a fireball?

Report it on our Fireballs In The Sky app (Android or iOS ), or use the IMO web interface.

Research

Data Management

How we deal with 4TB of new data every day

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Meteoroid modeling

How big is that space rock?

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Instrumentation

Meet the team who designs autonomous intelligent observatories, able to work in the Canadian polar winter as well as survive the Australian desert

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Meteorite Searching

Let’s find space rocks!

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Science

science is fun

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Data Reduction Pipeline

From taking pictures to triangulated orbits.

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FireOPAL

Adapting DFN technology to Space Situational Awareness

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People

Researchers

Phil Bland
Project PI
Ellie Sansom
Project Manager,
Geophysicist
Martin Towner
DFN Operations Manager
Martin Cupák
GFO Operations,
Software Engineer
Hadrien Devillepoix
Science Lead,
Astronomer
Robert Howie
Mechatronics Engineer
Ben Hartig
Mechatronics Engineer
Daniel Busan
Mechatronics Engineer
Kosta Servis
Kosta Servis
Data Scientist

PhD Students

Patrick Shober
Orbit analysis
Seamus Anderson
Seamus Anderson
Meteorite searching with drones

Former Team Members

Trent Jansen-Sturgeon
Trent Jansen-Sturgeon
currently of: Lockheed Martin Australia
Luke Daly
currently of: University of Glasgow