Where the Dish got its start

By Helen Sim

29 April 2013

2 minute read

Everyone knows about The Dish, our Parkes telescope.

But have you ever wondered what led up to The Dish?

Local farmers at The Dish in 1965: (L) Maurice Puttock, (R) “Austie” Helm. No, we don't know the name of the dog.

Local farmers at The Dish in 1965: (L) Maurice Puttock, (R) “Austie” Helm. No, we don’t know the name of the dog.

The Dish didn’t just come out of nowhere. In fact it, and the whole of CSIRO’s work in radio astronomy, originated in the Sydney suburb of Dover Heights.

A parabolic radio telescope sitting on the ground.

CSIRO’s first Dish: the ‘hole-in-the-ground’ telescope at Dover Heights.

There was a wartime radar installation here, where CSIRO radio engineers cut their teeth on the new technology.

The building they used as a base has just been honoured by the National Trust.

After the war our boffins turned their hand to the peaceful uses of radio waves, including exploring the Universe. The rest is history — our history.

Read more about our early science at Dover Heights here.

Three engineers in a 1940s laboratory looking at radio equipment.

Some of our pioneering radio astronomers who worked at Dover Heights: (L-R), John Bolton, Gordon Stanley, Joseph Pawsey.