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Australia designs local infrastructure for world's largest telescope

26 Feb 2019 4:16 PM - A team of Australian engineers and scientists has designed the local infrastructure for the SKA taking the billion-dollar global project one step closer to reality
An artist’s impression of the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in Australia. ©SKA Organisation

A team of Australian engineers and scientists has finalised local infrastructure designs for the world's largest radio telescope – the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – a significant milestone for the billion-dollar global project.

The SKA Infrastructure Australia consortium, led by CSIRO, has designed everything from supercomputing facilities, buildings, site monitoring and roads, to the power and data fibre distribution that will be needed to host the instrument at CSIRO's Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO).

MWDC previously funded $10 million towards a hybrid solar power station to support the MRO.The project will include extensive solar photovoltaic array with short and long-term energy storage technologies able to provide over 50% of the MRO’s power needs from renewable sources.

SKA precursors; the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and Murchison Widefield Array are already making scientific headlines, with the discovery of 20 new fast radio bursts during 2018 alone, nearly doubling the known number of these mysterious ‘flashes’ from deep space detected worldwide since 2007.

The SKA will explore the Universe in unprecedented detail, doing so hundreds of times faster than any current facility.

Full media statement: Australia designs local infrastructure for world's largest telescope