Brain of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Telescope Designed (Download PDF)

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Scientists at Cambridge University have successfully finished designing the brain of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) which is the largest radio telescope in the world. The SKA’s Science Data Processor (SDP) consortium has concluded its engineering design work, marking the end of five years’ work to design one of two supercomputers.

This will process the enormous amounts of data produced by the SKA’s telescopes.

This image in Brain of the Square Kilometre Array telescope

This Image in Brain of the Square Kilometre Array Telescope

This image in Brain of the Square Kilometre Array telescop

Project Overview & Significance

  • It consists of a supercomputer that will process the enormous amounts of data produced by the SKA’s telescopes.

  • The total compute power will be around 250 PFlops that’s 25 per cent faster than IBM’s Summit which is the fastest supercomputer in the world at present.

  • The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with eventually over a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area.

  • Thousands of dishes and up to a million low-frequency antennas will be used that will enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail and survey the entire sky much faster than any system currently in existence.

  • Its unique configuration will give the SKA unrivalled scope in observations, largely exceeding the image resolution quality of the Hubble Space Telescope.

  • It will have the ability to image huge areas of sky in parallel a feat which no survey telescope has ever achieved on this scale with this level of sensitivity.

  • There are ten member countries who are the cornerstone of the SKA, around 100 organisations across about 20 countries. They are participating in the design and development of the SKA.

  • Thousands of SKA antenna dishes will be built in South Africa (in the Karoo), with outstations in other parts of South Africa, as well as in eight African partner countries, namely Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.

  • Another part of the telescope, the low-frequency array, will be built in Western Australia

- Published/Last Modified on: August 19, 2019

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