SKA: Square Kilometer Array

The announcement was made today that the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project will be shared by South Africa and Australia with New Zealand.  This opens up a world of oportunities of colaboration between scientists, technicians and engineers from Australia and South Africa.

From the official website:  "After nine-years of work by the South African and Australian SKA site bid teams, the independent SKA Site Advisory Committee (SSAC), composed of world-renowned experts, carried out an objective technical and scientific assessment of the sites in South Africa and Australia, and identified by consensus Africa as the preferred site. However, in order to be inclusive, the SKA Organisation has agreed to consider constructing one of the three SKA receiver components in Australia. Two will be constructed in Africa.
Read the Minister's statement"

KAT-7 (Karoo Array Telescope):
The seven-dish KAT-7, is the world's first radio telescope array consisting of composite antenna structures and has been constructed and used as an engineering and science prototype.  It serves as a precursor array to the MeerKAT project.

The MeerKAT array, currently taking shape in South Africa's Karoo region, is a world-class radio telescope.  The MeerKAT will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the southern hemisphere until the completion of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) around 2024. South Africa is playing a key role in design and technology developments for the SKA during the work done on the MeerKAT.

Square Kilometer Array
The SKA gets it's name from the fact that it will have a total collecting area of about one square kilometer.  Upon completion (planned for 2024) this radio telescope will be 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument.  The data processing capacity will be greater than the current GLOBAL internet traffic and the network of long-haul links and receiving stations will extend as far out as 3000km's from a central core.

The reason why it was decided to build it in the southern hemisphere is because the view of our own milky way is clearest and the radio interference is least there.

To learn more see the wiki page: Square Kilometer Array Wiki Page

Come back again to find out more detailed technical information about the SKA, MeerKAT and KAT-7 but it is more readily available on the SKA Science/Engineering public website. » Visit the site
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