Find out more about the Project

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a next-generation radio astronomy facility that will revolutionise our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics. It will have a uniquely distributed character: one observatory, operating two telescopes, on three continents for the global scientific community. The SKA’s operational phase is expected to last at least 50 years.

The recently completed SKA Global Headquarters is located at Jodrell Bank near Manchester in the UK, home to the organisation -the future SKA Observatory- that oversees development, construction and operations. The two other SKA sites are radio quiet zones and home to the telescopes themselves: a mid-frequency array in South Africa (SKA-mid), and a low-frequency array in Australia (SKA-low). In order to take advantage of the development of computing and other innovative technologies of relevance for the SKA programme, the construction of the SKA will be phased. Work is currently focused on the first phase named SKA1, corresponding to a fraction of the full SKA.

When fully constructed, the SKA will be, by several measures, the largest scientific facility built by humankind. It will tackle some of the most fundamental scientific questions of our time, ranging from the birth of the Universe to the origins of life.

To do so, the SKA will collect unprecedented amounts of data, requiring the world’s fastest supercomputers to process this data in near real time, before turning these into science products for distribution around the world through a network of SKA Regional Centres located in partner countries. Those data centres will be the final interface with the end users -the scientists- who will turn these science products into information, and finally knowledge.

The SKA is a collaborative international project, supported by 13 members of the SKA Organisation as of May 2019 and other prospective members already involved in many science and engineering activities.

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