SKA & ASKAP
The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) is a radio telescope in development which will have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometer. It will operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size will make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio pathfinder. The SKA will be built either in South Africa or Australia, both in the southern hemisphere, where the view of our own own galaxy, the Milky Way, is best and radio interference least. With a budget of €1.5 billion, construction of phase 1 the SKA is scheduled to begin in 2018 with early science in 2020 and full operation by 2023. Uniquely, the SKA is a global collaboration of 19 countries which will revolutionise our understanding of the Universe by providing answers to fundamental questions about its origin and evolution.
The Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) represents Australia's telescope contribution to this project and will operate at the higher radio frequency of 300MHz - 2GHz, relative to MWA which operates at 80 - 300MHz. Both ASKAP and MWA are co-located at the same site, and both experiments will serve as vital testing grounds for the SKA.