About us

Who we are

Astralis Instrumentation Consortium (Astralis) is Australia’s national optical instrumentation capability drawing on experience, expertise and facilities from three leading universities – Macquarie University, Australian National University and the University of Sydney.

Astralis is a consortium between the Macquarie University, Australian National University and University of Sydney’s astronomical instrumentation groups.

Astralis has over 100 instrument scientists and skilled engineers across our nodes. Many in our workforce boast decades of individual experience in effectively delivering cutting-edge astronomical technologies worldwide. Advanced laboratories, testing and engineering facilities are provided to our expert team to develop, build and test state-of-the-art bespoke solutions that are ‘fit for purpose’ and ‘right the first time’.

Astralis receives funding via Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL) under the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Program.

The Astralis Instrumentation Consortium

Astralis (known previously as the Australian Astronomical Optics Consortium) was instituted on 1 July 2018 as a collaborative consortium, following the Commonwealth’s call in 2017 for the establishment of a National Optical Astronomy Instrumentation Capability.

Our vision

Astralis will be a leading international astronomical instrument designer and builder, serving Australian astronomy by proposing and delivering innovative and effective solutions to the most significant observational challenges in optical and near-infrared astronomy.

Our mission

We seek to establish Australia in the top tier of global astronomical instrumentation builders through a national partnership known for innovation, quality, integrity and service.

We aim to enhance the impact and reputation of Australian astronomers by providing access to substantial time on world’s-best instruments and building the case for permanent ESO partnership.

We strive to enhance Australian astronomy’s visibility and impact in the wider community, by forming productive and growing relationships with industry and other research sectors.

The Consortium Partners

Macquarie University

Macquarie University partners through the AAO Department within the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

This is made up of staff and facilities from the North Ryde site of the former Australian Astronomical Observatory.


The Australian National University (ANU) partners through its Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre (AITC) within the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

AITC has adopted the use of


The University of Sydney (USyd) partners through elements of the Sydney Astrophotonic Instrumentation Laboratory (SAIL) within the School of Physics.

The astronomical instrumentation activities of this group has rebranded as Astralis-USyd.

AAL is supported by the NCRIS, which is an Australian Government program to deliver world class research facilities so that Australian researchers can solve complex problems both in Australia and around the globe.

NCRIS is an efficient and strategic way to invest in national scale research infrastructure, driving collaboration to bring economic, environmental, health and social benefits for Australia.