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

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…


ASKAP named finalist in Innovation Challenge

The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) has been named a finalist in this year’s The Australian Innovation Challenge awards, for the Manufacturing, Construction and Infrastructure category. ASKAP is one of two SKA precursor telescopes located at the future Australian SKA site.

Thanks to CSIRO’s innovative  Phased Array Feed (PAF) receiver technology and digital systems, ASKAP is unique among radio telescopes in its ability to rapidly survey the sky in great detail. The capability of the ASKAP antennas has been demonstrated in recent commissioning and early science activities underway with the Boolardy Engineering Test Array (BETA), the first six ASKAP antennas currently operating at the Australian SKA site.

In September, the BETA array made continuous observations of seven, ten and twelve hour periods, generating an image showing an area the equivalent of 250 full moons. By comparison, the equivalent amount of data collected using other radio telescopes may have taken up to 9 times longer.

ASKAP is up against some worthy opponents, from oil spill cleaning nano-sheets to burglar stopping optic-fibre mats. Votes can be cast for the ASKAP telescope here.