SKA 101: Australia’s involvement

Australia will host the SKA Observatory’s low frequency telescope (SKA-Low).

SKA-Low will comprise an array of 131,072 ‘Christmas tree-shaped’ antennas, grouped in 512 stations, each with 256 antennas. The antenna stations will span out along three spiral arms, stretching 65 kilometres end to end.

SKA-Low will be located at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, a legislated radio quiet zone in remote Western Australia, around 800kms north of the state’s capital city, Perth, and 315kms north east of regional centre Geraldton.

The SKA telescopes will provide the opportunity to investigate the Universe as we’ve never seen it, and Australian researchers are working across many areas of SKA science and technology.

Precursor Telescopes

Australia is home to three SKA precursor and pathfinder telescopes. These telescopes have provided crucial design, assembly and deployment guidance for the SKA project and are also world-leading telescopes in their own right.

Australian SKA Regional Centre

The Australian SKA Regional Centre (AusSRC) will enable science with SKA data in Australia.

SKA-Low will produce around 300 petabytes (around 300,000 terabytes) per year of data that science teams around the globe will need to readily access.

SKA member states are forming a collaborative network of SKA Regional Centres (SRCs) to design, build, deliver, and operate end-to-end support for science data products, archives, and associated services.

The AusSRC is a collaboration between CSIROCurtin University, Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre, and the University of Western Australia.