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Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO)

Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) mind map
Recent News
India Joins SKAO
When
January 3, 2024
Significance
Multinational initiative
World's largest radio telescope
When
Construction begins
When
5 Dec 2022
Where
Africa
Australia
What
Largest radio-astronomy observatory
Two phases
SKA1
Current phase
SKA2
Future enlarged phase
Technology
Thousands of antennas
Aperture synthesis technique
Array Types
SKA-low array
Frequency 50 to 350 MHz
SKA-mid array
Frequency 350 MHz to 14 GHz
SKA-survey array
Medium-frequency range
Who
Founding Countries
Australia
China
Italy
Netherlands
Portugal
South Africa
United Kingdom
Involved Countries
16 as of December 2022
Organizations
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) India
UK Research and Innovation
How
Combining signals
From thousands of antennas
Spread over several thousand kilometers
Simulate single giant radio telescope
Significance
Unparalleled sensitivity
Map sky hundreds of times faster
Detect signals billions of light-years away
Investigate
Gravitational waves
Pulsars
Dark matter
Dark energy
Epoch of Reionization
Cost
Around A$3 billion
Challenges
Delays and rising costs
Initial estimate €1.8 billion
Data challenges
Large bandwidth and processing power
High power consumption
Way Forward
Operational in 2024
Continuous development

The Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) represents an ambitious multinational project aimed at constructing the world’s largest radio telescope. With construction commencing in December 2022 across sites in Africa and Australia, this groundbreaking facility will utilize thousands of antennas to simulate a singular, massive radio telescope. SKAO will provide unprecedented sensitivity and the ability to rapidly map the sky, significantly advancing our understanding of the universe. Key focus areas include studying gravitational waves, pulsars, dark matter, and dark energy, and investigating the Epoch of Reionization. Despite challenges like delays and rising costs, the SKAO, once operational in 2024, promises to revolutionize our perception of the cosmos.

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