Project

Square Kilometre Array Low Frequency Telescope

PROJECT STATUS
Announced
Square Kilometre Array Low Frequency Telescope

Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an international project to build the world’s largest radio telescope. The telescope is expected to augment with, and complement a range of other large telescopes in the optical and infrared spectrum, to be built or launched into space in the coming decades.

The project comprises of two main sites covering two components of the Square Kilometre Array. These are:

  • low-frequency array (SKA-Low) in Murchison, Western Australia, and
  • mid-frequency array (SKA-Mid) in Karoo, South Africa.

Western Australia’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, operated by CSIRO, will host the SKA-Low component of the project. Initially, this is expected to comprise 512 stations spread over 65 kilometres, representing a total of 130,000 SKA-Low antennas, with a final capacity of up to one million.

This array is expected to provide resolutions that are eight times more sensitive, and 135 times faster compared to current-best telescopes. Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder – a precursor to SKA – is currently operating in Murchison.

Key Dates

Dec 2015 Project Announced
2022 Expected Construction Commencement
Dec 2029 Expected Construction Completion

Funding contributions

Federal Government
This funding includes Federal Government's announcements from December 2015 and April 2021.

Procurement

Procuring Agency: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

PROJECT HISTORY

Dec 2015 The Federal Government committed $294 million for the project.
Apr 2021 The Federal Government allocated $387 million for the project over the 10 years from FY2021-22. This funding included Australia’s share of constructing the SKA-Low component, establishing and operating a computing and data management centre in Perth, purchasing land for the site, and providing fibre-optic connectivity to communities near the SKA-Low site.
May 2021 The Federal Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources invited Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for the construction and operation of a temporary ‘construction camp ’ to enable the delivery of SKA-Low.
Sector
Other
Procurement approach
Unconfirmed |
Location
Western Australia | National |
Resources