Building the World’s Largest Radio Telescope

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with eventually over a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area.

The scale of the SKA represents a huge leap forward in both engineering and research & development towards building and delivering a unique instrument, with the detailed design and preparation now well under way. As one of the largest scientific endeavours in history, the SKA will bring together a wealth of the world’s finest scientists, engineers and policy makers to bring the project to fruition.

As the SKA project moves through the design, development, construction and operational stages, industry will play a crucial role in the delivery and through-life support of the technologies and infrastructure.
Industry participation with the SKA means early collaborations with a variety of organisations, among them niche R&D companies, followed by increasing engagement through commercial contracts with high-volume manufacturers, technology systems vendors, site services and installation firms, and power and data transmission specialists. Engagement will necessarily occur with larger technology and civil engineering firms, and is also encouraged with smaller local vendors, possibly including teaming arrangements and supply chains.

The UK is contributing £100M towards the construction of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Radio Telescope. This project represents significant investment on behalf of the UK and confirms the UK’s leading role in key aspects of the project. The SKA will be the largest radio telescope and scientific instrument on the planet once construction is complete. It will be 50 times more sensitive than the Hubble Space Telescope (even though its ground-based) but critically it will need to manage more data per day than the world’s total daily internet traffic – a requirement that is driving transformative technological innovation in Big Data computing and data handling with huge potential for societal and economic benefit.

For more information on SKA, please visit www.skatelescope.org/project/

For more information on how companies can engage with the SKA project and register your interest, please visit www.stfc.ac.uk/research/astronomy-and-space-science/uk-ska-industry-comm...