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Derrick
04-03-2012, 11:22 AM
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a radio telescope in development which will have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometre. It will operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size will make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument. It will require very high performance central computing engines and long-haul links with a capacity greater than the current global Internet traffic. It will be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than ever before.

With receiving stations extending out to distance of at least 3,000 km from a concentrated central core, it will continue radio astronomy's tradition of providing the highest resolution images in all astronomy. The SKA will be built in the southern hemisphere, in either South Africa or Australia and New Zealand, where the view of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is best and radio interference least. With a budget of 1.5 billion, construction of the SKA is scheduled to begin in 2016 for initial observations by 2019 and full operation by 2024.

The SKA is a global collaboration of 20 countries which is aimed to provide answers to fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the Universe.

In April 2011, Jodrell Bank Observatory (of the University of Manchester) in Cheshire, England was announced as the location of the headquarters office for the project.

Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_Kilometre_Array)