UK makes funding donation for SKA

2014-03-11 14:15
Radio telescope dishes stand on the site of the MeerKAT near Carnarvon in the Northern Cape. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Radio telescope dishes stand on the site of the MeerKAT near Carnarvon in the Northern Cape. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The UK has announced what is expected to be one of the first in a series of funding initiatives for the Square Kilometre Array telescope.

The SKA is a massive science and engineering project being built in both the Northern Cape province as well as in Australia, but funding commitments are lagging as the global economy remains sluggish.

UK Science Minister, David Willetts announced funding of £100m ($160m) for the SKA, speaking ahead of an event at Jodrell Bank Observatory on Tuesday.

"Investment in science is a crucial part of this government's long-term economic plan. It's about investing in our future, helping grow new industries and create more jobs - and that will mean more financial security for people across the country," said Willetts.

This money will help boost the SKA project which is slated to begin the first phase of construction in 2016.

Massive engineering project

"This is a really exciting announcement for the SKA and a solid proof that the project is now really underway. With such a major investment secured there is no stopping it," said Professor Phil Diamond, Director General of the SKA Organisation.

The SKA is the largest engineering project ever undertaken and will give astronomers an unprecedented view into the early history of the universe, more than 13 billion years ago.

The project will comprise more than 3 000 linked radio telescopes that will have a surface area of more than 1km², hence the name.

The South African precursor to the SKA is the MeerKAT which will consist of 64 radio telescopes and has been closely aligned with SKA requirements.



The instrument's engineering mirrors some of the challenges experts face in delivering the SKA.

"There are ongoing issues: Justin [Jonas] for instance is responsible for making sure that the dishes are delivered to quality, to performance, to schedule; to cost," Dr Bernie Fanaroff, director of SKA South Africa told News24 about the role of Professor Jonas in the local organisation.

Negotiations

Companies are being pressured to ensure that they are compliant with the engineers' requirements.

"And you have to keep pressure on the contractors," Fanaroff added.

While the general funding for the instrument is critical, negotiations between countries on the SKA Organisation will hammer out deals on contracts for member country companies.

"On the larger scale there's of course a negotiation of the funding agreements; procurement agreements: On what basis will contracts be allocated among companies in different countries," said Fanaroff.


- Follow Duncan on Twitter
- News24
Read more on:    ska  |  astronomy
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
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!

Who would have guessed the world’s least visited country would have such spectacular beaches?

 
 

I love summer.24

LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy 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

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...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.