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Mrs Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of Science and Technology

Media release
Africa celebrates SKA bid outcome

Q & A
Q & A about the SKA site bid announcement

Congratulatory messages from around the globe

Video coverage
Watch a number of videos about the SKA telescope and bid announcement which have been released.

Media reports
Read a selection of links to online media published by the media since the bid announcement.

Photographs taken during the press conference on 25 May 2012.

Portfolio of news
Download a portfolio of media coverage from
25 May to 3 June 2012 after the announcement.

Our journey to bring the SKA to Africa
Download a presentation providing a photographic timeline of our journey to bring the SKA to Africa.

SKA site bid outcome

On 25 May 2012 the SKA Organisation announced that the SKA would be shared between South Africa and Australia.

Following a competitive bidding process, South Africa and Australia were both shortlisted in 2006 as potential sites for building the SKA. Both countries have invested a huge amount in this project - including building pathfinder radio telescopes with associated physical infrastructure, and developing capacity with the skills and expertise to build and use the SKA. Phase 1 of the SKA (about 10% or the full Phase 2 implementation) will make optimal use of the existing infrastructure and telescopes already built by the two countries.

The full dish array and the dense aperture array will be built in Africa. The core - i.e. the region with the highest concentration of receivers - will be constructed in the Northern Cape Province, about 80 km from the town of Carnarvon (the same site as where the MeerKAT is being constructed). The sparse aperture array (low frequency array) will be built in Western Australia.

Over the next four years, teams of radio astronomy scientists and engineers from around the world will work together to scope and finalise the design of the SKA.

The split of SKA components across Africa and Australia

SKA Phase 1 (about 10% of the total SKA)
South Africa
South Africa's precursor array - the 64-dish MeerKAT telescope - will be integrated into
Phase 1. An additional 190 mid-frequency dish-shaped antennas, each about 15 m high will be built.
Australia's 36-dish SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) will be integrated into Phase 1. An additional 60 mid-frequency dish-shaped antennas, each about 15 m high, will be built, as well as a large number of small, low-frequency antennas - each about 1,5 m high.
SKA Phase 2
South Africa & African partners
Telescope will extend to long baselines of
3 000 km or more
Telescope extends over a baseline of
200 km, or possibly longer
A total of about three thousand mid-frequency dishes, with the highest concentration in the Northern Cape, South Africa, but some dishes in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar and Mauritius. In addition, a large number of flat mid-frequency antennas, each about 60 m in diameter (number to be determined). Up to 10 times more of the low-frequency antennas - each about 1,5 m high.

Site bid outcome cartoon 1 - File size: 1.07 MB Site bid outcome cartoon 2 - File size: 1.42 MB