ASKAP and the SKA
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be a revolutionary radio telescope made of thousands of receptors linked together by high bandwidth optical fibre. It will drive progress in fields such as information and communication technology, high performance computing and production manufacturing.
A combination of unprecedented collecting area, versatility and sensitivity will make the SKA the world’s premier imaging and survey telescope over a wide range of radio frequencies, producing the sharpest pictures of the sky of any telescope.
A €1.5 billion project, the SKA program is being led by the international SKA Organisation [external link], a not-for-profit company with its headquarters in Manchester, UK.
Construction of SKA Phase 1 is expected to start in 2016 and preliminary science operations are to take place by 2020.
The telescope will be implemented across two main sites: the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) and surrounding Mid West Radio-Quiet Zone in Western Australia, and southern Africa.
ASKAP Leading to the SKA
ASKAP will pioneer and test revolutionary new technologies in areas of electrical engineering, digital systems, computing and signal transport. Key results and techniques generated through the development of ASKAP will contribute to the international SKA design and development effort.
ASKAP's home, the remarkably radio-quiet Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO), in the Mid West region of Western Australia, is where the SKA telescope infrastructure in Australia is to be centred.
ASKAP will also trial ‘green energy’ power generation systems that will be relevant to the much larger SKA project.