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A Universe of Benefits

CSIRO's ASKAP antennas at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory

CSIRO's ASKAP antennas at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, March 2013. Credit: Neal Pritchard

By David Luchetti

The Square Kilometre Array will not only bring new insights about the universe but also provide technological advancements and opportunities for industry and the wider public.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an unprecedented scientific and technological venture that will bring far-reaching benefits to Australia that go well beyond the transformational discoveries it will make. The scale of the SKA will boost Australian industry, raise public awareness of astronomy and inspire education and career choices in science and engineering. It will help to lift the international status of Australia’s science and industry capabilities and encourage further collaborations with our Australasian and global partners.

Together, Australia and South Africa are inviting other SKA partner countries to begin negotiations to establish an SKA Treaty that will provide the structure for future funding and development of the project. Alongside this, the international SKA Organisation, together with a series of international consortia, is working to finalise the design of the first phase of the project, paving the way for construction to begin in Western Australia and South Africa in 2018.

Beyond its expected transformational scientific discoveries, the SKA will also produce technological and economic spin-offs in a range of industries, thanks to anticipated advancements in electronics, big data management, information and communication technology (ICT) and digital receiver design.

A range of Australian companies and research institutions...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.