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Australia And EU In Next Generation Space Watch

  • May 15th, 2007
  • Posted by 7thmin

skaref_design2.JPGFunding of A$ 56.7-million (EU 34-million) has been approved for construction of a next-generation “kilometre” radio telescope – to position Australia as the site for a future international space-watching installation.
Building of the installation — called the Australia Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) — will also be done in collaboration with a proposed new scientific initiative by the European Union.

The EU has included SKA, kilometre array radio telescopes, in a priority list of 35 large-scale research projects.

Seven of its member states (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom) are among 17 countries now working together on this type of technology.

Kilometre telescope installations have antennae arrays which can include many dishes and radomes laid out over a wide area.

The aim is for the international community to launch the next generation of telescope, expected to be 50-100 times more sensitive than any that is currently available – to investigate more questions in cosmology and physics including early origins of the universe.

The Australian contribution is described as set to provide an important test bed for SKA technology and be one of the world’s foremost radio telescopes in its own right.

The funding for the four-year Australian undertaking will be provided by the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and from other federal government sources.

It adds to EU 63.6- million (A$ 105.9-million) previously committed.


Australian Department of Foreign Affairs media release,

SKA sites,,

Picture: Representation of 15 m dishes with focal plane radio cameras, CSIRO