SA committed to SKA - Pandor

2011-07-07 18:54

kalahari.com

Cape Town - South Africa is committed to providing the world with the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the Southern Hemisphere until the SKA is completed, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said on Thursday.

"We have made noteworthy progress on the precursor telescope MeerKAT... the South African SKA [Square Kilometre Array] precursor," she told the International SKA Forum meeting in Banff, Canada.

Over the past year all important milestones related to MeerKAT had been achieved, many of them ahead of schedule.

"Our progress has allowed us to plan to publish tenders for MeerKAT at the end of this year.

"I am also pleased to confirm that the commissioning of the KAT-7 Array will be completed by the end of 2011," she said.

KAT-7 was not only a test bed for MeerKAT. It was also a scientific instrument in its own right and was in demand for scientific work by African and international astronomers.

"Five years before the MeerKAT Array goes online for science operations in 2016, we have already allocated 43 000 hours of observing time, including to consortia led by many internationally renowned astronomers.

"Suffice it to say that SA is committed to providing the world with the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the Southern Hemisphere - until the SKA is completed.

Without significant delay

"We hope that the immense potential of MeerKAT will not be ignored when the most efficient and cost-effective roll-out for the Phase One of SKA is considered.

"SA stands ready to discuss how our investment could best contribute to ensure Phase One of the SKA is implemented without significant delay."

Pandor said she hoped the deliberations of the SKA oversight committees had resulted in agreement that 2012 was confirmed as the year in which a final site decision will be announced.

"We are keen to move into the design and implementation phase," she said.

SA and Australia are the two bidders to host the SKA.

Since the 2010 meeting of the forum in Assen important progress had been made on the African bid led by SA.

In July last year, the African SKA project received political endorsement at the highest level.

The heads of state and government of the African Union adopted a declaration at its assembly, expressing the AU's support for SA to lead the bid to locate the SKA in Africa.

Site connected

"Our commitment to the SKA is firm and steadfast.

"We have chosen an exceptionally good site for the SKA in a remote region of SA, a region with very little economic activity.

"We have provided statutory protection for the site through the Geographic Astronomy Advantage Act. The Act covers existing activities and transmissions, not only new ones. In this we are unique," Pandor said.

The site had been connected to the national power grid and to the national optical fibre backbone.

The networks were scaleable and some were now "SKA ready".

"We are collaborating with our national department of energy, our Electricity Supply Commission, and German and Chinese agencies to provide renewable energy to the MeerKAT and the SKA," Pandor said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    naledi pandor  |  astronomy  |  ska
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.