The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation plans to built the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. The total collecting area will be approx. 1 km2 giving 50 times the sensitivity, and 10 000 times the survey speed, of the best current-day telescopes. The SKA will be built in Southern Africa and Australia. Both sites offer exceptionally radio quiet environments for detecting very faint radio waves. Thousands of receptors will extend to distances of 3 000 km from the central regions.
The SKA will address fundamental unanswered questions including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the big bang, how dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the Universe, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth.
Construction of Phase one of the SKA is scheduled to start in 2016.
Germany joins the existing members of the SKA Organisation, Australia, Canada, China, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden,the United Kingdom, and India as an associate member.
As a member, Germany has voting rights and is eligible to appoint two representatives to the Board of Directors. It has the authority to appoint senior staff, decide budgets, admit new project partners to the organisation and direct the work of the global work package consortia in the SKA pre-construction phase.
The German contribution to the SKA Organisation amounts to 1 Million Euro.
Image: © SKA
- Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation, Manchester, UK