Square Kilometre Array countries sign treaty

By on 21 March, 2019

Artist’s impression of the future Square Kilometre Array in Western Australia

Australia joined six other nations earlier this month in signing on to an international treaty aimed at delivering the world’s largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array.

The Square Kilometre Array, or SKA, will be the largest science facility on the planet, with infrastructure spread across three continents on both hemispheres. Its two networks of hundreds of dishes and thousands of antennas will be distributed over hundreds of kilometres in Australia and South Africa, with the headquarters in the United Kingdom.

Australia, China, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa and the United Kingdom signed the treaty in a ceremony in Rome, establishing the Square Kilometre Array Observatory.

Karen Andrews, Australia’s Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, said Australia is proud to be involved in the SKA Observatory.

“The signing of the Convention is a major milestone for the international science community and Australia looks forward to the decades of scientific and industrial outcomes it will achieve,” she added.

The organisation says the award of more than $1.1 billion in contracts should begin in 2020.

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