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SKA engineers to use the Force & Jawas to build the world’s largest radio telescope!

Star Wars characters2 - Perth AstroFest - March 2015

A Jawa and a Jedi Knight take a closer look at models of the SKA dishes in preparation for their involvement.

SKA Organisation Interstellar Headquarters – In what is already being hailed as a major milestone towards building the world’s largest radio telescope, engineers from the SKA Organisation based at Jodrell Bank Observatory have entered in formal negotiations with Jawas and high-ranking members of the Jedi Council to help build the Square Kilometre Array.

Jawas are famous throughout the galaxy for their ability to source scrap metal and droids in remote areas, two key elements that will be needed to build the SKA’s hundreds of dishes in the Karoo and thousands of antennas in Western Australia. With this exclusive agreement to provide parts and labour, Jawas are set to win the single largest contract for the construction of the telescope.

As part of the SKA’s human capital development programme, the Jedi Council also announced hundreds of Jedi Padawans would go on apprenticeships at the SKA and would play a key role in the construction of the dishes by lifting the multi-ton dishes onto their pedestals, thus greatly reducing construction costs while also helping the Padawans progress towards their mastery of the Force.


A Jedi Knight prepares to use the force to lift a model of an SKA LOW antenna under the fascinated eyes of a Jawa.


“We’re extremely excited by this promising interstellar collaboration, which is very much in the spirit of the global international collaboration that is the SKA” commented Prof. Philip Diamond, Director General of the SKA Organisation, just after the meeting with representatives from the Jawas and the Jedi Council.

This follows hot on the heels of the earlier announcement by CERN today that their researchers have confirmed the existence of the Force. While this is something many have suspected for a long time, it is yet another exciting result from the LHC, and one which strengthens the SKA Organisation’s new strategy to build the telescope.

“Using the Force and the highly skilled Jawas, we’re confident we’ll be able to build the SKA and be fully operational long before our competition is ready” added Prof. Diamond.

Construction of the SKA is due to start in 2018, with the first operations expected in 2020 using a partial array, combining the power from the different antennas to produce a single, unstoppable beam of radio waves.


First operations are expected in 2020 with the SKA still under construction.



For more information on the outreach event behind the photos, visit ICRAR’s Astrofest press release.