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Thread: Square Kilometer Array (SKA) – The Biggest Telescope Ever

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    Passionate FaaDoO Engineer Manoj's Avatar
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    Txt 32 Square Kilometer Array (SKA) – The Biggest Telescope Ever

    Square Kilometer Array (SKA) – The Biggest Telescope Ever

    After a long wait for a powerful telescope and the need of time to study universe, the world as a community is planning to build a biggest telescope ever on this earth capable to peep in time 13.7 Billion years ago. The dream project is named Square Kilometer Array or SKA keeping in view the vast expanse of the telescope. This is such a huge and ambitious project that wherever this telescope is located, it will occupy almost whole of that continent! The total investment in SKA is projected to reach a figure of € 1.5 Billion.
    Earlier this year in April, countries namely China, Italy, Germany, France, South Africa, The Netherlands, Britain , Australia and New Zealand have formed a founding committee for this issue which would be meeting in Banff, Canada next month to discuss the further progress. The meeting would include discussions on design and construction phase of SKA. The target set for start of construction is by the year 2016 also to make it operational by 2024.
    The currently suggested design for Square Kilometer Array is of arranging 3000 rotating radio telescopic dishes spread over an area of 5500 square kilometers. These massive three storey structures would be inter connected to a Supercomputer through fiber optical cables. This would be the most powerful computing machine ever in human history, even faster that the existing fastest supercomputers. The underlying features identified to be developed for this telescope are a super computer fulfilling these requirements, a low noise amplifier and economical radio dishes.
    The main criteria of selection for its location will be a radio free environment. The major contenders for this bid being the “Australia-New Zealand” and South Africa. Australia has shown a capability of providing such a facility. If Australia is chosen as the location project SKA then it will be mainly concentrated in the Shire of Murchison. The place boasts of a radio free environment with only 110 residents and an area far greater than whole Netherlands put together.
    Among other things which the federal Government in Australia is doing to win the bid includes a radio telescope SKA Path finder after investing $120 million. It has also strengthened up computing facilities in and near Perth by allocating funds of $250 million.
    On the other hand if the South African Nation is selected, the project would be concentrated in Karoo area of the Northern Cape and would be spread over eight countries from Ghana to Madagascar.
    Seeing the vastness of this telescope, the power requirements for SKA would be astronomical as its work. Special efforts have to be made in supplying these energy requirements. New renewable energy sources have to be set up near the across the sites. The region should also have a good broad band connectivity considering the high data transfer due to of a million million million operations per second. This mega project is even compared to the Large Hadron collider (LHC) near Geneva which will give concrete proofs and results regarding unsolved mysteries of origins of Earth. A slight comparison between the two will reveal that LHC is taking looking internally to verify the findings of scientists till now while SKA is taking into account the external aspects of possibly the same things.
    Whichever continent wins this bid, it is sure that the images provided and research conducted on those would be marvelous. SKA will surely be a legacy for the whole world and for humanity.



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  2. #2

    Re: Square Kilometer Array (SKA) – The Biggest Telescope Ever

    when this project will start??? i wish to be a part of that team........

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