is an ambitious international project that will allow the world's largest radio telescope, built on two continents, to reflect vast areas of the sky with a resolution that exceeds the Hubble telescope. The SKA will include over 100,000 low frequency antennas in Australia and hundreds of dishes in South Africa, all of them working together to create a total area of 1 square kilometer.
The SCA will ultimately help scientists see how galaxies were formed after the Big Bang, reveal the secrets of magnetic fields and dark energy, and even potentially look for signs of extraterrestrial life.
But the creation of a powerful radio telescope requires the overcoming of serious problems in design and construction. Scientists at CSIRO, Australian National Science Agency, headed by the Australian side of the project, have now found what it takes to get the largest radio telescope in the world.
"We set the basis for the placement of 132,000 SKA low-frequency aerials in Australia, they will receive stunning data," said the director of the CSIRO SKA infrastructure consortium, Anthony Schinkel.
The scale of a petabit, or a million billion bits per second – more than the global speed of the Internet today, all falls into a single building.
All these data require their own infrastructure, including 65,000 fiber optic cables for transmitting data from antennas to supercomputers of SCAs.
Questions do not end. Since SKA will seek the smallest signals from the deepest, darkest space, the team should reduce the noise from the radio on the ground – including computing and power systems working with the telescope.
"We" are trying to lower the level radio billions at the expense of billions, "said Shandipi Abevi, a senior engineer at the Aurecon project, an industry partner working with CSIRO.
"For example, your own supercompartment building is actually a fully welded box in the box, with the computing equipment being located inside the internal screen, while the equipment supporting the installation will be located on the outer shield."
Infrastructure engineering completed in Australia and South Africa, CSIRO says construction at SKA is expected to begin in 2020.