Co-hosting the SKA
The international SKA Organisation announced on 25 May 2012 that Australia and South Africa will each host components of the SKA telescope at their respective sites.
Each country will host receivers that perform different tasks for the telescope. The construction of the SKA will be completed in two phases, with the entire system being complete and operational at the end of phase two. Operating together, the complete telescope system will achieve a combined collecting area of one square kilometre.
Australia will host the SKA1 wide field low-frequency aperture array of over 130,000 dipole antennas.
Image credit: SKA Organisation/Eye Candy.
Equipped with revolutionary phased array feed technology, Australia’s existing 36 dish ASKAP survey telescope will be able to survey large areas of the sky quickly and in great detail.
Also in phase one, Australia will host over 130,00 dipole antennas (each about chest height) which will receive low frequency radio waves. This array will be expanded to several million antennas in phase two.
South Africa is building its precursor MeerKAT telescope with expected completion in 2016. This will be a 64-dish array which will be expanded out to 200 dishes during SKA phase one.
In SKA phase two, the SKA dish array will be extended into eight African partner countries. South Africa and its partners will also host mid frequency aperture array antennas in phase two.