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The Australian Acoustic Observatory (A2O) has been conceived as a continental-scale acoustic sensor network, recording for a five-year period across multiple Australian habitats.

The A2O will be composed of 400 continuously operating acoustic recorders collecting approximately 2PB of sound data over the duration of the project. The data will be stored on the cloud with the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation and made freely available to researchers, citizen scientists, and the general public. The A2O is a unique piece of scientific infrastructure that will transform environmental science and assessment in Australia, and foster cross-disciplinary research between ecologists, biologists and computer scientists.

The project is funded by an ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grant of $1.8 million. The A2O is led by Professor Paul Roe from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Ecoacoustics Research Group, in collaboration with Professor David Watson from Charles Sturt University (CSU), Professor Lin Schwarzkopf from James Cook University (JCU), Associate Professor Paul McDonald from the University of New England (UNE), and Associate Professor Richard Fuller from the University of Queensland (UQ). The A2O Chief Investigators have a deep understanding of Australia’s fragile and mega-diverse environment, and the collection and interpretation of acoustic data, providing leading research expertise in this emerging field.