ASKAP Frequently Asked Questions

A view from the reflector dish of one of CSIRO's new ASKAP antennas at the MRO, October 2010. Credit: Simon Johnston, CSIRO.

Quickly find out more about ASKAP with answers to these 'frequently asked questions':

What will ASKAP look like?
ASKAP will be a next-generation radio telescope incorporating novel receiver technologies and leading-edge ICT systems. It will be made up of 36 identical antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, that will work together as a single instrument or interferometer. Read more.

Why build ASKAP?
ASKAP will capture radio images with unprecedented sensitivity over large areas of sky. This combination of survey speed and sensitivity will allow astronomers to answer some fundamental questions about the creation and early evolution of our Universe, and to test theories of cosmic magnetism and predictions from Einstein's theory of general relativity. Read more.

Where will ASKAP be located?
The CSIRO-run Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in the Mid West region of Western Australia will be home to ASKAP. This region has been identified as ideal for a new radio observatory: it is a remarkably 'quiet' site with a small population and a lack of human-made radio signals that would interfere with weak astronomical radio signals. Read more.

When will ASKAP be built?
ASKAP is currently under construction at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia and will start early operations in 2013. Read more.

Who will use ASKAP?
Once built, ASKAP will form part of CSIRO's Australia Telescope National Facility along with existing telescopes at Parkes, Narrabri and Mopra. Once finished, ASKAP will be used by astronomers from around the world. Read more.

How is ASKAP related to the SKA?
In addition to being a world-leading telescope in its own right, ASKAP is an important technology demonstrator for the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope. ASKAP's home, the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, has been selected as the central site for major components of SKA telescope infrastructure in Australia; SKA telescope infrastructure will also be deployed in southern Africa. Read more.

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