The Square Kilometre Array (SKA)
STFC Knowledge Exchange Workshop
Venue: Jodrell Bank Observatory
Date: 20 March 2013
The STFC Innovations Club jointly with STFC’s Astronomy Programme group are hosting an event on The Square Kilometre Array to discuss current developments and future R&D needs in the key areas of SKA, the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world to be built in South Africa and Australia. The £1.2bn SKA's huge fields of antennas will sweep the sky for answers to the major outstanding questions in astronomy. It is being planned and designed by a twenty-nation collaboration of engineers, astronomers, physicists, industrialists and policy makers.
The SKA will be an aperture synthesis instrument. Signals from separated antennas will be combined digitally to produce a telescope with a diameter equal to the largest antenna separation - more than 3000 km. The SKA will also have a very large field-of-view (FOV) which will enable multiple users to observe different pieces of the sky simultaneously and 10,000 times faster, than any imaging radio telescope array previously built.
SKA is currently in the detailed design stage (2012-2015) and new technology and progress in fundamental engineering science are both required. These breakthroughs can only happen with the R&D collaboration of academic and industrial partners offering expertise in fields such as information and communication technology, high performance computing and mass production manufacturing techniques.
Areas of particular relevance include:
• Low-cost collecting area small to medium diameter dishes
• Low-noise, highly integrated, receivers
• Phased array antenna technology
• High-speed (terabits/s) digital fibre optic links
• Wideband optical fibre signal transport systems
• Fast, high resolution, analogue-to-digital converters
• High-speed digital signal processing engines (petabyte/s) and
• Ultrafast supercomputing (at exaflop rates)
This workshop aims to pull together the interest from both the academia and industry in order to facilitate knowledge exchange (KE) between STFC funded researchers (HEI’s and labs) and industry with a view of exploiting technologies and advances being made through SKA. These technologies will have significant industry applications within the general ICT sector.
The workshop will further highlight funding opportunities to support KE relationships around the SKA project as well as provide an opportunity to hear a general update on the status of SKA from the Project Office and UK supporting activities from STFC.
the final programme click here (PDF - 55kB - link opens in a new window)
For more information contact: Dr Vlad Skarda, STFC or Dr Simon Berry
To register click here (link opens in a new window)