SKA gets $40m government grant

Monday, 20 June, 2011

More than $40 million over four years will be provided by the federal government to support Australia's bid to host the square kilometre array (SKA), in partnership with New Zealand.

The SKA will be the largest and most advanced radio telescope ever constructed. It will consist of thousands of antennas, spread out across a continent and connected by a fibre-optic network, with the data it generates processed by a supercomputer.

Australia is an ideal candidate to host the SKA, thanks to the data and speed capabilities of the National Broadband Network, large tracts of radio-quiet land and research strengths in astronomy, the physical sciences and ICT.

The joint bid with New Zealand is one of two shortlisted to host the SKA, with a decision on the final site expected early in 2012.

The funding will assist Australia's bid and support pre-construction design and development work if the bid is successful.

By the end of this year, the SKA program will be ready to go to the detailed design and pre-construction engineering phase.

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