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About the SKA

The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) will be one of a suite of new, large telescopes for the 21st century probing fundamental physics, the origin and evolution of the Universe, the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the formation and distribution of planets. Currently under development by an international consortium, the SKA will make a revolutionary break from today's radio telescopes. It will

  • Have a collecting area of one square kilometer, making it 50--100 times more sensitive than today's best radio telescopes;

  • Cover the frequencies 0.15 to 30 GHz (2 m to 1 cm wavelength); and

  • Integrate computing hardware and software on a massive scale, in a way that best captures the benefits of these exponentially-developing technologies.

The United States Square Kilometer Array Consortium (US SKA) is a consortium of universities and research institutes in the United States that are studying and prototyping technologies under development for the SKA. The design being considered by the US SKA Consortium is one in which the SKA is composed of a large number (100--1000) of "stations," with each station consisting of a number of relatively small diameter antennas similar to those being used in the Allen Telescope Array. This "Large-Number/Small-Diameter" (LNSD) concept offers considerable advantages over traditional designs, including superb image fidelity and dynamic range, multibeaming capabilities, instantaneous imaging, improved interference suppression, flexibility, and expandibility.

Other members of the international consortium include teams from Australia, Canada, China, Europe, India and South Africa.

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