SKA Design

SKA Global Consortia

University of Milan-Bicocca

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Visit The Website

Adaptive Array Systems Limited (AASL)

Part of the following consortia:

Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

Meraka Institute, CSIR

Part of the following consortia:

Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

University of Western Australia

Part of the following consortia:

Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

National Geographic Institute of Spain

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Visit The Website

STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Società Aerospaziale Mediterranea (SAM)

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Visit The Website

SKA South Africa (Johannesburg Office)

Part of the following consortia:

Infrastructure South Africa
Visit The Website

GTD

Part of the following consortia:

Telescope Manager
Visit The Website

DANTE

Part of the following consortia:

Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

Part of the following consortia:

Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU)

Part of the following consortia:

Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

Tsinghua University/ Peking University

Part of the following consortia:

Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

Australia Academic and Research Network (AARNet)

Part of the following consortia:

Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Part of the following consortia:

Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Visit The Website

Callaghan Innovation

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Open Parallel Ltd

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

University of Auckland

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Science Data Processor

Massey University

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

AUT University

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

IBM Zurich

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

Reutech Radar Systems (Division of Reutech Limited)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

Canadian Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

NVIDIA Corporation

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

Adaptative Array Systems Limited

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

University of Malta

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
Visit The Website

Omnisys Instruments

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Visit The Website

Canadian Astronomy Data Center

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Swinburne University of Technology

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

Radio Quiet Zone Solutions (RQZ)

Part of the following consortia:

Infrastructure Australia
Visit The Website

German Long Wavelength Consortium (GLOW)

Part of the following consortia:

Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Visit The Website

Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

Selex Electronic Systems

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

MDA Systems

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

University of Southampton

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

University College London

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Oxford University

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

University of Cambridge

Part of the following consortia:

Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

University of Manchester

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
Science Data Processor
Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

STFC Daresbury Laboratory

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) ATC

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Telescope Manager
Visit The Website

Ozyegin University

Part of the following consortia:

Wideband Single Pixel Feeds
Visit The Website

Chalmers University / Onsala Space Observatory

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Wideband Single Pixel Feeds
Visit The Website

Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de España (ISDEFE)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Visit The Website

Public University of Navarre (UPNA)

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Visit The Website

University of Cantabria, Santander (Spain)

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Visit The Website

Fundación Centro de Supercomputación (FCSCL)

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA)

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

University of Granada

Part of the following consortia:

Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

SKA South Africa (Cape Town Office)

Part of the following consortia:

Assembly, Integration & Verification
Central Signal Processor
Dish
Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
Science Data Processor
Signal and Data Transport
Telescope Manager
Visit The Website

University of Évora

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

GeoSpace Sciences Research Centre (CICGE-FCUP)

Part of the following consortia:

Telescope Manager

Instituto de Telecomunicações

Part of the following consortia:

Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
Science Data Processor
Signal and Data Transport
Telescope Manager
Visit The Website

GreenButton

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Compucon New Zealand

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Institute for Radio Astronomy and Space Research

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

University of Otogo

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Victoria University of Wellington

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

Part of the following consortia:

Assembly, Integration & Verification
Central Signal Processor
Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
Science Data Processor
Signal and Data Transport
Wideband Single Pixel Feeds
Visit The Website

European Industrial Engineering (EIE)

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Visit The Website

National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Dish
Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Telescope Manager
Visit The Website

Tata Consulting Services

Part of the following consortia:

Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

Tata Research, Development and Design Centre (TRDDC)

Part of the following consortia:

Telescope Manager
Visit The Website

National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Signal and Data Transport
Telescope Manager
Visit The Website

Vertex Antennentechnik

Part of the following consortia:

Dish

EM Software and Systems (EMSS)

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Signal and Data Transport
Visit The Website

Regensburg University

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF)

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Wideband Single Pixel Feeds
Visit The Website

Max Plank Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfRA)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Dish
Wideband Single Pixel Feeds
Visit The Website

University of Bordeaux

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
Wideband Single Pixel Feeds
Visit The Website

Paris/Nançay Observatory

Part of the following consortia:

Mid-Frequency Aperture Array
Visit The Website

Joint Laboratory for Radio Astronomy Technology (JLRAT)

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Wideband Single Pixel Feeds

Key Lab of Aperture Array and Space Application (KLAASA)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Mid-Frequency Aperture Array

University of Chile

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

McGill University

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

University of British Columbia

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

University of Alberta

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

University of Alberta

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

RackForce

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Calgary Scientific Inc.

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

IBM Canada Limited

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

University of Calgary

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

National Research Council of Canada (NRC)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Dish
Telescope Manager
Visit The Website

Horizon Power

Part of the following consortia:

Infrastructure Australia
Visit The Website

Rider Levett Bucknall

Part of the following consortia:

Infrastructure Australia
Visit The Website

Aurecon

Part of the following consortia:

Infrastructure Australia
Visit The Website

RPC Technologies

Part of the following consortia:

Dish
Visit The Website

University of Melbourne

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

iVEC

Part of the following consortia:

Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR)

Part of the following consortia:

Central Signal Processor
Low-Frequency Aperture Array
Science Data Processor
Visit The Website

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Part of the following consortia:

Assembly, Integration & Verification
Central Signal Processor
Dish
Infrastructure Australia
Science Data Processor
Signal and Data Transport
Telescope Manager
Visit The Website

Filter Consortia

Zoom in on the map above and click on each partner organisation to see what part or parts of the SKA jigsaw they will be working on, and find out more about each partner and their own background.

The SKA design is a global effort by 12 international engineering consortia representing 500 engineers and scientists in 20 countries all feeding in to making the SKA a truly exceptional instrument. The list of partners is vast and can be seen all over the map above.

The consortia are responsible for working out the look and functionality of the different elements of the SKA, and ensuring that they will all work together. With a telescope of this nature, located on two different continents and generating unprecedented amounts of data, this is a formidable challenge.

The 12 consortia are made up of research institutions and industry partners which are spread across the globe, with each one having a designated lead institution that coordinates the work. They operate in conjunction with a specialist project manager based at SKA Headquarters in the UK.

Each consortium has been tasked with designing a particular element of the SKA – from the very visible parts like the dishes or the infrastructure at each site, to the essential software and networking that will allow the SKA’s arrays to act as one enormous telescope. In the final design, the different elements will come together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Nine of the consortia focus on a component of the telescope, each critical to the overall success of the project, while three others focus on developing advanced instrumentation for the telescope. Click on the links below to find out more about each one and the institutions behind the design:

Advanced Instrumentation Programme (AIP)

An essential part of each consortium’s role is to ensure that their design ultimately enables the SKA to achieve its science goals. This means scientists and engineers have worked closely together to ensure that the final design meets the science community’s requirements. To that end, the SKA formed the Science Working Groups (SWGs) to feed in to the process. You can find more details on the SWGs on the SKA Science site [external link].

Since the consortia were first formed in 2013, the design of the SKA has evolved in response to available funding and to take account of scientific advances. In December 2014, the process reached its first milestone, with the start of the Preliminary Design Reviews (PDRs). Each consortium presented its detailed proposals for assessment by an expert panel from the SKA and external organisations, and the results were fed back in to the ongoing design work.

There followed three years of effort by the international consortia to arrive at the Critical Design Reviews (CDR), which began in 2018. This is one of the last and most pivotal stages before construction can begin, where the design documentation for each part of the SKA is analysed in the finest detail, and determinations are made about the readiness of the consortia. Any actions recommended by the review panel must then be completed before the designs can be formally adopted. Once all the consortia have successfully reached this stage, the SKA’s design will be complete.

To learn more about the design elements and the consortia, check out our interactive CDR platform.

The CDR platform is designed to be a central hub for updates, chronicling each major step on the road towards SKA construction and showcasing the technological innovations that are making it possible.

As well as capturing international teams’ progress towards and beyond their CDRs, the platform features a wide range of news stories, profiles, case studies, photos and videos, providing context on the work that has been done so far.

The interactive infographic developed by SKAO showcases the ongoing Critical Design Reviews (CDRs) – key engineering milestones that assess the readiness levels of the major elements of the SKA. Click on the image to access the new platform.

Telescope Manager (TM) Central Signal Processor (CSP) Signal and Data Transport (SaDT) Science Data Processor (SDP) Dish (DSH)
Mid-Frequency Aperture Array (MFAA) Low-Frequency Aperture Array (LFAA) Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV) Infrastructure Australia (INFRA AU) Infrastructure Africa (INFRA SA)
Wideband Single Pixel Feeds (WBSPF)
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