The next large step in global centimetre and metre wave radio astronomy is the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, which will be an enormous array of antennas spread over the two host sites in Australia and South Africa, eventually encompassing a total collecting area of one square kilometre. The project currently has ten countries as members including Sweden, which is represented on the project board by Onsala Space Observatory/Chalmers. The final design phase will last till 2018 with construction of phase 1 of the project projected to start by the end of 2018.
Chalmers is part of two consortia working on the SKA design. One of these consortia, Wide Band Single Pixel Feeds, is led by Chalmers. The other, Dish, is developing the parabolic antennas for SKA. Within Chalmers, the SKA technical contributions are led by Onsala Space Observatory but the work also involves the departments of “Microtechnology and Nanoscience” and “Signals and Systems”.
The Swedish science case for SKA as submited as part of the May 2015 infrastructure proposal to VR for the Swedish share of the construction and operation costs for SKA is given below:
Links to more information about SKA:
Artists rendition of the SKA Dish arrays in operation at night time. The 15 m wide dishes in this rendition are all pointing towards the same section of sky and source object. Using a technique known as interferometry they will be able to combine their data to create an image which would be the same as from a single aperture instrument much larger. Credit: SKA Organisation