Feeds

ANZ bid for super telescope down to the wire

SKA decision public on April 4

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The West Australian government has refused to give up on its ambitions to host the world’s largest radio telescope, the the Square Kilometre Array, despite a scientific panel’s reported recommendation that the bid go to the rival South African consortium.

The €1.5 billion construction project is slated to start as early as 2016. Once completed, the array will comprise several thousand antennas up to 5,000 kms apart operating as a single instrument. The SKA has been designed to have 10,000 times the potential of existing telescopes.

Until now, two sites have been proposed to host the SKA: South Africa partnering with Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and Zambia; and the rival bidder Australia in collaboration with New Zealand.

According to reports, the SKA Site Advisory Committee made a confidential report last month recommending that the South Africa-led bid was the leader.

The recommendation is not final, however, and the decision now rests with voting countries China, Italy, Britain and the Netherlands on April 4.

Australia & New Zealand SKA project director Dr Brian Boyle ‏ tweeted in Friday, “ANZ team continues to respect confidentiality of the site process. We are actively engaged in current SKA Board deliberations.”

Meanwhile, WA Premier Colin Barnett told local press that the bid was far from over: ”There are still a number of processes to go through and I still believe very firmly that Australia is the best location for this extraordinary piece of science. It would be disappointing (if we did not succeed) and we still believe that Australia and particularly the WA site is the best site.”

The WA State Government has committed AUD$70 million to the project while at a federal level $400 million has been devoted to an adjunct project, the Australian SKA Pathfinder, which will result in 36 radio telescope dishes being located in the Mid-West region.

Hosting the telescope would create an almost incomparable "big data" project for the winner, demanding huge data links and computing power to handle the daily exabyte of data the instruments would collect. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.