The Square Kilometre Array: the radio telescope of the XXI century
University of Manchester
June 1st, 2018
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. It will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the big bang, how dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the Universe, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth. This project envisages the construction of 133 15-m antennas in South Africa and 131,072 log-periodic antennas in Australia, together with the associated infrastructure in the two desert sites. In addition, the SKA is an exemplar Big Data project, with data rates of around 10 Tbps being transported out of the telescope to HPC facilities; and very exacting data processing requirements that are likely to need a combination of CPU, GPU and FPGA technologies to solve.