Mar 30, 2010
Minister Pandor unveils radio telescopeBack
Engineering|Africa|Design|PROJECT|SKA SA|SKA South Africa|Systems|Africa|South Africa|EUR|Square Kilometre Array|Systems|Anita Loots|Naledi Pandor
© Reuse this
In her speech, Pandor highlighted that the MPA was "an important milestone on the way to establishing the core competences of the SKA".
The Square Kilometre Array, or SKA, is a €1,5-billion international radio telescope project South Africa is bidding to host.
The MPA, previously known as KAT-7, comprises seven dishes, all of which have been erected and four of which are now operational.
It is hoped that the MPA will be able to start doing some scientific experiments by the end of this year.
The MPA's main function is to serve as an engineering test bed for technologies and systems for MeerKAT.
"The MPA is an engineering prototype," explains SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director Anita Loots, herself an engineer. "Information from the MPA will inform the design of MeerKAT."
Thus, the MPA dishes are not identical - although of the same diameter and made from composites, they are divided into two types, which are manufactured using different methods.
The one type of dish is produced using a metal mesh embedded within the composite material, while the other has an entirely composite structure. "The metal mesh method is cheaper and easier, but the size of the mesh limits the radio frequencies the dishes can receive," she elucidates.
"The scientists will have to decide if that is acceptable or not. And once that decision is taken, we will have to develop the ability to series produce dishes at a consistent high quality."
The MeerKAT will be composed of up to 80 of the selected dishes, and will be developed in four phases, plus the MPA, which will be incorporated into the larger instrument. MeerKAT phase one will be completed, and start doing science, in 2013.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...