International SKA telescope project takes a step towards construction

Artist's impression of the SKA1-LOW dipole antennas in the foreground of ASKAP antennas at the MRO. Credit: SKA Organisation.

13 March 2015

In early March, the Board of Directors of the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope met to discuss the Phase 1 design (SKA1) of the future mega-science project.

At the meeting, the recommendation of a re-baselined SKA1 design was discussed and noted by the Board. This is a starting point for formal intergovernmental negotiations, and a significant step in to moving the world’s largest radio telescope forward to its final pre-construction phase.

Currently in its design phase, the international SKA project has been engaged in a rigorous and challenging science-driven, engineering process with teams from around the world working to refine the design of SKA1.

CSIRO has contributed to the engineering effort behind the re-baselining process, through 7 of the 11 SKA R&D consortia, particularly as lead in Dish and Infrastructure-Australia, and as a key partner in Assembly, Integration and Verification

ASKAP will continue to pioneer new technologies for radio astronomy, such as the phased array feed (PAF) receivers, enabling cutting-edge science and testing new innovations in the areas of electrical engineering, digital systems, computing and signal transport.

Australia’s involvement in the SKA is hosted through the Australian SKA Office, and for more information about re-baselining, see the latest update from Australian SKA Project Director Brian Boyle or the press release from the international SKA Organisation.

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