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SKA achieves key engineering milestone towards final design

Wednesday 14 December 2016, SKA global Headquarters, UK – The SKA has achieved* a key milestone in its engineering process with the positive conclusion of the System Preliminary Design Review (PDR). This review paves the way for the continuation of the engineering design work towards detailed design and Critical Design Review (CDR) before approval of construction.

Last week at the SKA Headquarters, external experts in the management of large-scale projects from the European Space Agency, the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the international ALMA Observatory and the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics among others gathered to review and assess the maturity of the SKA’s system design. The system design is an engineering process that aims to define the architecture, components and interfaces of the SKA system (the telescope as a whole, from receiver to antenna to data transport, processing, storage and distribution) as per its requirements. The objectives of the system PDR were to ensure that the preliminary design of the SKA was mature enough and that the remaining gaps and risks in the design were identified to enable the project to start detailed design work.

The reviewers approved the system design, noting the huge amount of work carried out so far by the SKA Office and engineering consortia, as well as the maturity of the architectural design.

“We’re very pleased. Passing this important engineering milestone concludes what has been a busy year for the SKA on the engineering front, and everyone has worked hard to reach this point. This successful review will give confidence to industry and stakeholders that we are on the right path.” said Luca Stringhetti, the Project Engineer for SKA Organisation.

*Official report from the System Preliminary Design Review panel refers to a conditional pass, subject to the completion of certain critical work, most notably the technical budgets and the completion of the L2/L1 design compliance matrices. Such critical work is to be undertaken in the next few months.