Today, large optical array surveys typically involve more than one telescope, in operation, across the world. These arrays capture volumes of data much too great to be examined by people using conventional visual techniques. Sonification can assist the process for examining data in ways that enhance the efficiency of visual analysis, speed up the analytical process and enable the detection of transient signals that can be missed when only visual inspection is employed.

Working closely with colleagues at the department of Astronomy, Swinburne University, the studio examined how sound could be used as a means for addressing some of these challenges. Utilising raw optical data, the studio developed SoFIA (Sonification of Fast Image Analysis) - a software-based tool which enables the rapid identification of stars and galaxies using physical modelling techniques.

Jeffrey Hannam

RMIT University
School of Design
Melbourne, Australia

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