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SKA and Industry

In the current design phase, there are limited tender opportunities directly with SKA Organisation. However, when relevant opportunities arise, through SKA Organisation or partner institutes, they are advertised here.

As the SKA project moves through the design, development, construction and operational stages, industry will play a crucial role in the delivery and through-life support of the technologies and infrastructure.

The scale of the SKA and the inherent requirement to ‘productise’ many of its components necessitates the engagement of industry at levels only beginning to be seen for radio-astronomy in projects such as the ALMA instrument, and the LOFAR pathfinder.

An ALMA antenna en route from the Operations Support Facility to the plateau of Chajnantor for the first time. The ALMA transporter vehicle carefully carries the state-of-the-art antenna, with a diameter of 12 metres and a weight of about 100 tons, on the 28 km journey to the Array Operations Site, which is at an altitude of 5000 m. The antenna is designed to withstand the harsh conditions at the high site, where the extremely dry and rarefied air is ideal for ALMA’s observations of the universe at millimetre- and submillimetre-wavelengths.

The ALMA telescope – An example of superb industry involvement in astronomy (c) ALMA

Industry participation with the SKA means early collaborations with a variety of organisations, among them niche R&D companies, followed by increasing engagement through commercial contracts with high-volume manufacturers, technology systems vendors, site services and installation firms, and power and data transmission specialists. Engagement will necessarily occur with larger technology and civil engineering firms, and is also encouraged with smaller local vendors, possibly including teaming arrangements and supply chains.

The SKA Industry Engagement Strategy spans the SKA project technology and infrastructure needs to around 2017 and beyond, covering the period when SKA project will invite industry involvement in the vicinity of more than a billion Euros of funded procurements.

The international SKA project, and its associated national and regional consortia programmes welcomes interest from existing and potential industry partners.

View the Industry Engagement Strategy (v5.5). The SKA Office acknowledges the advice of industry in the development of this document.

To see the list of people participating in the SKA visit our SKA Design section, which details many of the organisations and institutes involved