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SKA Members Statement on the General Meeting of 25 May 2012

The Members of the SKA Organisation, meeting at Schiphol, have agreed the following:

The members noted the report from the SSAC, and thanked them for their efforts. We noted that the report demonstrated that both sites were well suited to hosting the SKA, provided justification for the relative advantages and disadvantages of both locations, but that they identified Southern Africa as the preferred site.

The members noted the commentary on the SSAC report from the SKA board

The members noted the report from the Site Options Working Group which they had established at the last meeting

Taking all of these inputs into consideration, the majority of the members were in favour of a dual-site implementation model for SKA based on the Site Options Working Group’s work.

The SOWG work shows that a scientifically justified and technically viable approach is possible, and concludes that in SKA1, viable dual-site implementations exist that not only maintain, but add to, the scientific appeal of the first stage of SKA. A dual site also offers a model which maximises the financial viability of the project in the longer term, through continuation of the current Organisation membership and a global character that will be attractive to future members.

A majority of the members agree the following dual-site implementation for SKA1 and SKA2:
















The members also noted that:

Consistent with good project management practices, satisfactory technical performance of SKA1 at both sites is expected for the implementation of all aspects of SKA2;

The members noted and endorsed the SOWG recommendation on the establishment of the concept of the ‘SKA Observatory’; a cohering organisational entity bringing together physically discrete components, and the need for a correspondingly strong governance structure behind such an entity;

The members also asked the Office of the SKA Organisation to lead a detailed definition period to scope out the implementation in more detail – as a revision of the organisation Business Plan (and the PEP) in collaboration with the sites and would also address such issues as how and when the precursor infrastructure should be integrated into SKA. The office should work with the Board to develop the governance arrangements needed. The Interim Director General believed that this would take of order 6 months to properly carry out. The Board will also negotiate with the hosting sites to develop mutually acceptable hosting arrangements including host contributions between the Organisation and each site.

Report of the SKA Siting Options Working Group (SOWG)

SKA Board of Directors Commentary on the SSAC Report

Report and Recommendation of the SKA Site Advisory Committee (SSAC)