Welcome to SKA

Australia and New Zealand SKA project

The Square Kilometre Array, or SKA, is a global next-generation radio telescope project involving institutions from over 20 countries. The SKA will be the largest and most capable radio telescope ever constructed. During its 50+ year lifetime, it will expand our understanding of the universe and drive technological development worldwide.

Australia and southern Africa will each host different components of the SKA. 

 

Australian SKA Project Director Update 

_JC_9665_3.jpgOct 2014: It was a pleasure to attend the 2014 SKA Engineering Conference at Fremantle from 29 Sept - 2 Oct.  A great deal of progress has be made on the SKA design since last year's meeting in Manchester.  The challenge remaining for the SKA Organisation will be to ensure the collected material is sufficiently complete and comprehensive (particularly at the interfaces between work packages) to deliver a robust re-baselined design over the coming 5-6 months. More...

 

Latest News

 

ASKAP wins national innovation award

Thanks to its innovative Phased Array Feed (PAF) receiver technology and digital systems, the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope has won The Australian Innovation Challenge!

ASKAP is one of two SKA precursor telescopes located at Australia's SKA site. The capability of ASKAP antennas has been demonstrated in recent commissioning and early science activities underway with its first six antennas.

The ASKAP team won the Manufacturing, Construction and Infrastructure award, and impressed the judges enough to also take home the overall prize. Judges had said the project was “one of those ­advances that keeps Australia on the global innovation map”.

Industry Minister (and minister responsible for science), Ian Macfarlane, labelled ASKAP as a major breakthrough in astronomical data collection and utilisation. "ASKAP delivers vastly improved survey speeds compared with existing radio telescopes," he said. “This has the potential for downstream applications and draws keen interest from all over the world.”

More on the award can be found at CSIRO's news article, Minister Macfarlane's media release and The Australian Innovation Award Challenge website.

2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Professor Brian Boyle – Australian SKA Project Director was part of two international teams that received global recognition when they were awarded the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. This award recognizes major insights into the deepest questions of the Universe. The group of 51 scientists were recognised for making “the most unexpected discovery, that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, rather than slowing as had been long assumed”.

The teams have previously won major awards for their discovery including the team leaders receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2011.  The Breakthrough Prize was awarded at a star-studded awards ceremony in the United States.

More information can be found in Minister Macfarlane’s media release and the Breakthrough Prize website.

Up to 50 Chinese PhD students to visit ICRAR

The University of Western Australia (UWA) and the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), have signed an agreement that will see up to 50 Chinese PhD students visit WA over the next five years.

The agreement is for up to 10 Chinese PhD students to visit WA each year and work alongside top astrophysicists at the UWA node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). 

Together, they will build the sorts of skills needed for the SKA including in areas such as galaxy evolution, star formation, dark matter and mapping the large-scale structure of the Universe. More…