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Stars in their eyes as students develop app for astronomy research

11 December 2020

A collaboration between North Metropolitan TAFE (NMTAFE) and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) continued this year with a mobile app developed by our students for the research organisation released.

  • Three Diploma of Software Development students worked with ICRAR’s Outreach and Education Program to produce the GLEAMoscope mobile app, a continuation of a VR app developed by students in 2019
  • The app was launched on 9 December and lets users see the night sky above the Murchison region of WA in different wavelengths
  • NMTAFE and ICRAR signed an MoU to continue their partnership which will allow our students the opportunity to work on a project for a real client, so they graduate with industry experience, while also developing important material for ICRAR.

Launched on 9 December at ICRAR’s base in Crawley, the GLEAMoscope App, a mobile version of a VR app developed by students last year, lets users explore our galaxy (the Milky Way) and the distant universe through the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory as if they had eyes that could see other wavelengths of light.

NMTAFE and ICRAR also signed a MoU at the event to continue their partnership of providing students with the opportunity to work on a project for a real client while also developing important material for ICRAR.

The mobile app was created by Diploma of Software Development students Chantelle Kerr, Tri Dinh and William Douglas during their studies this year.

Tri said he was originally anxious by the thought of developing an app for ICRAR.

“It was daunting for the three of us but after we all got the original stress out the way it was a really fun project,” he said. “It was a great learning experience and something that will help me in my future.”

ICRAR cosmos consultant, Greg Rowbotham said working with the students had been a pleasure.
“It was great to have a high concept, such as GLEAMoscope and have it translated into reality by these three programmers,” he said.

“ICRAR Outreach has really enjoyed working with NMTAFE as it has allowed us to partner with an educational institute to create something that makes ICRAR research more accessible to the wider public. “

Mr Rowbotham said the MoU between NMTAFE and ICRAR also reinforced the excellent working relationship between the organisations and ensured ICRAR research will be translated into exciting and accessible formats, by the college, for the public to enjoy.

The mobile version of GLEAMoscope can be found in the Google Play store and App Store.

Applications are now open for the Diploma of Software Development for 2021.


Photo: Diploma of Software Development students William Douglas, Chantelle Kerr and Tri Dinh inspect the GLEAMoscope app with ICRAR cosmos consultant, Greg Rowbotham.