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20th of April 2017
ATNF Colloquium
The Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope Project Update
by Mark Waterson (SKA Office)
Abstract. The Square Kilometre Array is an ambitious project to create a new radio astronomy facility combining both dish and aperture-array technologies to provide a nominal total collecting area of 1 square Kilometre covering frequencies from VHF out to 14GHZ, targeting a wide variety of science objectives. The SKA Observatory will consist of two radio telescope systems, a 50-350 MHz low-frequency aperture array (SKA1-Low) in Western Australia, and a mid-frequency array of ~190 dishes in South Africa covering 0.35-13.8 GHz in 5 bands (SKA1-MID). The Dish array (SKA1-Mid) will primarily address detection and precision timing of radio pulsars, high sensitivity observations of continuum objects and spectral lines including the 21-cm hyperfine line of neutral hydrogen from the local Universe, while the SKA1-Low telescope will prioritize imaging and spectral observations of the highly red-shifted 21 cm hydrogen from the Epoch of Reionization and earlier, and will also be well suited for low radio frequency observations of pulsars, magnetized plasmas both in the Galaxy and intergalactic space, radio recombination lines, and potentially extrasolar planets.

In preparation for the final CDR phase of the pre-construction design effort, the project has recently begun a comprehensive cost review to identify appropriate measures to enable construction of the system within the available funding. In this talk I will outline the status of the program, and focusing on the Low-frequency Aperture array component (SKA1-LOW) will discuss the high-level design process, system architecture, and calibration approach.

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