The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an intergovernmental radio telescope project being planned to be built in Australia and South Africa. Conceived in the 1990s, and further developed and designed by the late-2010s, when completed it will have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometre sometime in the 2020s. It will operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size will make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument. It will require very high performance central computing engines and long-haul links with a capacity greater than the global Internet traffic as of 2013. If built as planned, it should be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than before.
With receiving stations extending out to a distance of at least 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) from a concentrated central core, it will exploit radio astronomy‘s ability to provide the highest resolution images in all astronomy. The SKA will be built in the southern hemisphere, with cores in South Africa and Australia, where the view of the Milky Way Galaxy is the best and radio interference at its least. Four precursor facilities are already operating: MeerKAT and the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) in South Africa, and the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) in Western Australia.
The headquarters of the project are located at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK.
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