CDU bursts into international cloud experiment 


CDU Professors Chris Austin and Bob Wasson examine the purpose built Proteas research aircraft. While (below) the Research Vessel Southern Surveyor stands ready to take on its first crew of climate scientists.

Climate researchers (top) give CDU Vice Chancellor Helen Garnett an up-close view of their aviation technology.

Charles Darwin University was described this week as a ‘crucial partner’ in one of the largest weather experiments to be undertaken anywhere in the world.

The Tropical Warm Pool International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE) was officially launched at RAAF Base Darwin in front of an assembled crowd that included Federal Members of Parliament and many of the world’s leading climate researchers from over 30 international research institutions.

The experiment will provide scientists from around the globe an insight into the inner workings of cloud systems as well as the world’s climate system and will focus on a 250-kilometre radius around Darwin between January 19 and February 16, 2006.

Speaking on the experiment, Dr Christian Jakob from the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre in Melbourne said he and all other principal investigators on the large research team were excited at being able to partner with CDU, Australia’s only Tropics based university.

“It’s fantastic to have CDU involved, they’ve given us tremendous support and we are looking forward to working with them on this experiment and also in the future,” said Dr Jakob.

“Both CDU and their senior staff including Dr Lindsay Hutley are crucial partners in this experiment.”

CDU Vice Chancellor, Professor Helen Garnett, a keynote speaker at the launch, described Darwin as the best positioned city in the world to provide support to ‘on-location’ project teams.

“Other than Singapore, no other tropical region has the facilities Darwin offers, such as a military level airport and a university with excellent computing capability with direct data links to the United States, Europe and many other parts of the world,” she said.

“So we’re very proud to have again demonstrated CDU’s role as an active and integral resource for positive change in the Northern Territory and with this current TWP-ICE project, the world.”

Other senior CDU staff working with the project team include Professors Carole Kayrooz and Chris Austin, Associate Professor David Parry, Faculty IT Support Manager Mike Bellamy and Chief Technical Officer Neil Ludvigsen.