South Africa will host the SKAO’s mid-frequency telescope in a nationally protected radio-quiet zone in the Karoo region. The array will comprise 197 dishes, each measuring 15m in diameter, with a 150km maximum separation between the most distant dishes. In a future phase of the project, a later expansion is envisioned in South Africa and into other African partner countries: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.
South Africa is already host to the MeerKAT telescope, a 64-dish system which will be integrated into the SKAO’s mid-frequency telescope. Operated by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), MeerKAT was inaugurated by the South African Deputy President in July 2018 and is already delivering world-class science.
Composite image of the SKAO’s Mid-frequency telescope in South Africa. The image blends a real photo (on the right) of the existing MeerKAT radio telescope dishes, with an artist’s impression of the future SKA-Mid dishes as they will look when constructed (left). The 15m wide dish telescopes, will provide the SKA with some of its highest resolution imaging capability, working towards the upper range of radio frequencies which the SKA will cover. Credit SKAO/SARAO
South Africa will also host facilities external to the telescope site, where critical scientific and technical support for SKAO operations will take place.
We recognise and acknowledge the Indigenous people and cultures that have traditionally lived on the lands on which our facilities are located.