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Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a large multi radio telescope project proposed to be built in Australia and South Africa | Coastweek

Nine African countries are partnering on the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) and African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network (AVN) projects. The SKA will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. The total collecting area will be approximately one square km, giving 50 times the sensitivity and 10,000 times the survey speed of the best current-day telescopes. The AVN project aims to establish self-sufficient radio telescopes in Africa through the conversion of redundant telecommunication antennas into radio telescopes, adaptation of existing training telescopes, or the construction of new telescopes. PHOTO - WIKIPEDIA

 

African sensitive radio telescope projects making significant strides

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- The nine African countries partnering on the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) and African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network (AVN) projects are making significant progress, according to a joint statement on Wednesday.

Ministers and senior officials responsible for science and technology in the partner countries concluded the 5th Ministerial Forum Meeting on the SKA/ AVN in Cape Town, South Africa, on Oct. 16, according to the statement made available here by Namibia’s Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation.

The SKA will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope.

The total collecting area will be approximately one square km, giving 50 times the sensitivity and 10,000 times the survey speed of the best current-day telescopes, the statement said.

The AVN project aims to establish self-sufficient radio telescopes in Africa through the conversion of redundant telecommunication antennas into radio telescopes, adaptation of existing training telescopes, or the construction of new telescopes.

The meeting brought together science and technology ministers and senior officials from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

According to the statement, while all the member countries highlighted financial constraints as a major obstacle to the full roll-out of the AVN project, they were unanimous that progress was being made.

"Partner countries particularly welcomed the positive results of the SKA Human Capital Development (HCD) program," the statement read.

The statement said that ministers noted the importance of the Big Data Africa project for both astronomy as well as more general preparations for the fourth industrial revolution.

"Given the significance of big data and cyber infrastructure in economic development at both national and regional level, it was agreed that South Africa and Namibia would explore ways of integrating the Big Data Africa activities in southern Africa into the SADC Industrialization Strategy, taking into account prior work within SADC, and liaising with the other members of SADC," the statement said, referring to the Southern African Development Community.

Meanwhile, Kenya will explore a similar intervention in east Africa, and Ghana in west Africa.

It was recommended that this work be presented to the African Union through the intervention of the ministers.

The meeting also congratulated the team, led by South Africa, that successfully bid for the International Astronomical Union’s 2024 General Assembly, to be held in Africa for the first time.
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FURTHER READING:

Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is large multi radio telescope
project proposed to be built in Australia and South Africa

             

 

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