What is SKA ?

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a large multi radio telescope project aimed to be built in Australia and South Africa.

SKA will operate over a wide range of frequencies and its collecting area of approximately one square kilometre will make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio telescope.

It will require very high performance computing engines and long-haul links with a capacity greater than the current global Internet traffic.

SKA will be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than ever before, opening a new window in radio to study transient phenomenon in the universe.

With receiving stations extending out to distance of at least 3,000 kilometres from a concentrated central core, it will exploit radio astronomy’s ability to provide the highest resolution images in all astronomy.

The SKA will be built in the southern hemisphere, with cores in South Africa and Australia, where the view of the Milky Way Galaxy is best and radio interference least.

Construction of the SKA is scheduled to begin in 2018 for initial observations by 2020. The SKA will be built in two phases, with Phase 1 (2018-2023) representing about 10% of the capability of the whole telescope. Phase 1 of the SKA was cost-capped at 650 million euros in 2013, while Phase 2’s cost has not yet been established.

The headquarters of the project are located at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, in the UK.

SKA project key information: