Mar 30, 2010
Minister Pandor unveils radio telescopeBack
Engineering|Africa|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
Other Science and Technology News
Updated 5 minutes ago Unregistered motorists in Gauteng owe the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) over R1-billion in unpaid e-toll accounts, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said. As of May 31, the unaudited amount owed for more than 90 days was R156 623 567 while R995 362 885 was...
Recent Research Reports
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...