Welcome to SKA


Australia and New Zealand SKA project

The Square Kilometre Array, or SKA, is a global next-generation radio telescope project involving institutions from over 20 countries. The SKA will be the largest and most capable radio telescope ever constructed. During its 50+ year lifetime, it will expand our understanding of the universe and drive technological development worldwide. Australia and southern Africa will each host different SKA components.

March 2018

I am pleased to begin this update with very exciting recent news out of the world of low-frequency radio astronomy. Regular readers of Nature (or a multitude of news outlets and social media accounts) will have seen that the signature of the first stars that formed after the big bang was detected using the EDGES instrument at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO). Congratulations to Judd Bowman’s team for completing what I understand was a highly complex survey conducted over many years. Read more..



Follow the Australian SKA Office on Twitter


The Australian Square Kilometre Array Twitter page aims to provide you with the latest information on the SKA project and its Australian stakeholders. Through it you can engage with international partners, astronomers, researchers, industry members, and the general public in an online conversation about this transformational project.








News and Updates



First SKA-low prototype station completed on site

25 May 2018

Congratulations to the Aperture Array Verification System (AAVS1) team on their completion of the first SKA Low prototype station. With a full station of 256 low-frequency antennas deployed, this marks a crucial engineering milestone in the SKA project.

This was part of a global effort by 12 engineering consortia and involving 500 engineers and scientists from 20 countries. Nine of the consortia focussed on telescope components, each critical to the overall success of the project, while others developed advanced instrumentation for the telescope.

The installation team included members from Australia, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, over many months. They were tested by the harsh conditions of Australia’s SKA site, but it is clear that they enjoyed the challenge.

“This is a significant achievement by the team, they have done a fantastic job.” said AAVS1 Project Manager Pieter Benthem, from the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON). “Putting together and testing the verification system has been an amazing experience.” he remarked.

AAVS1 is currently being connected to the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), one of four SKA precursor telescopes. By combining the data of the AAVS1 station with the MWA, engineers will be able to fully characterise its ‘on-sky’ performance.

The consortium is now also entering its critical design review process for SKA Low, with the review to commence later this year.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, but the lessons we’ve learnt from AAVS1 will be fed into the larger design process for SKA Low” said ICRAR Associate Professor Randall Wayth.

AAVS1 and MWA are strongly supported by scientists, engineers and data-intensive astronomy specialists from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth, Western Australia.

Shared Sky on display at European Commission Headquarters

18 April 2018P036753000301-177001_lowres.jpg

Shared Sky – the Square Kilometre Array’s indigenous astronomy art exhibition – has opened its doors at the European Commission Headquarters in Brussels. On its 8th stop across the globe, European Commissioner Carlos Moedas formally welcomed over 80 guests to the exhibition opening on Monday, as EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

This thought-provoking and expansive exhibition brings together indigenous and local artists from Australia and South Africa, to celebrate humanity’s ancient cultural wisdom and the impressive SKA project.

“We need to inspire European citizens with Science and Art,” he said. “This deep desire from a young age to try and understand the sky is common to humanity, but also this connection between our ancestors and the sky, and the intersection between Art and Science. It’s an inspiration for the people of Europe.”

Commissioner Moedas was joined by Dr Catherine Cesarsky, Chair of the SKA Board of Directors, and representatives from Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, and South Africa. “The collaboration for Shared Sky between peoples from different cultures and different fields echoes the international science and engineering collaboration of the SKA project – breaking down cultural barriers in pursuit of a common goal,” added Dr Cesarsky.

Shared Sky is on display at the European Commission Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium from 16 – 28 April 2018. Read more about this inspiring exhibition here. 

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