THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL PROVIDE an extra $40.2 million over four years to support Australia’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), in partnership with New Zealand.
The SKA will be the largest and most advanced radio telescope ever constructed. It will consist of thousands of antennae, spread out across a continent and connected by a fibre-optic network, with the data it generates processed by a powerful supercomputer.
Australia is an ideal candidate to host the SKA, thanks to the data and speed capabilities of the National Broadband Network, our large tracts of radio-quiet land and our research strengths in astronomy, the physical sciences and ICT.
Australia’s joint bid with New Zealand is one of two short-listed to host the SKA, with a final decision on the site expected early in 2012.
This funding will assist Australia’s bid and support pre-construction design and development work if the bid is successful.
Attracting global investment in this massive technologically advanced project to Australia will generate spin-off returns for business.
Researchers and engineers from the world’s leading institutions will work together on the SKA, developing the next generation technologies the project will demand. In turn, Australia’s research community will build their skills and expand their networks.
They can use those same capabilities to create cutting-edge products for consumers in computing, in renewable energy and in communications.
By the end of 2011 the SKA programme will be ready to transition to the detailed design and pre-construction engineering phase.
Adapted from information issued by the office of Senator the Hon Kim Carr. Images courtesy SPDO.
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