Home (Newsletter)         Home (SKA)         Previous issues         Print versions         Contact us
February 2011
In this issue
First HartRAO-KAT-7 VLBI fringes signal new capability
MeerKAT engineers launch new ROACH board
MeerKAT Science - the Large Survey Projects
More power and connectivity milestones for Karoo astronomy reserve
SKA South Africa and NRAO to deepen collaboration in 2011
MeerKAT Karoo Express - flying to the MeerKAT site
Postdoctoral opportunities at SKA South Africa
MeerKAT advances cutting-edge expertise
Students star at SA SKA postgraduate conference
Technician team deployed at KAT-7 in Karoo
Review of Karoo reserve infrastructure
Virtual sky display in MeerKAT control room
SKA online - useful websites

First HartRAO-KAT-7 VLBI fringes signal new capability

A milestone has been achieved in South Africa with the successful detection of "fringes" in a joint very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observation performed using one of the seven 12 m dishes of the KAT-7 radio telescope, near Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, together with the 26 m dish of the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory near Pretoria. Read on

MeerKAT engineers launch new ROACH board

South African engineers at the MeerKAT project office in Cape Town are taking the lead in the development of new generation astronomy tools such as the ROACH (reconfigurable open architecture computing hardware) boards. The ROACH board is a primary building block for digital signal processing systems in many next-generation radio telescopes. It is a cutting-edge innovation that enables highly specialised and high-performance computing. Read on

MeerKAT Science - the Large Survey Projects

The first science that the MeerKAT will do is encompassed by the large survey projects which were approved by an international Time Allocation Committee in 2010. They cover a wide range of astrophysics, from the evolution of galaxies after their formation in the early universe to nearby exotic objects like pulsating radio sources, neutron stars and even complex molecules in the interstellar medium of our Galaxy. Read on

More power and connectivity milestones for Karoo astronomy reserve

The new 33 kV power line constructed between the Karoo sub-station and the MeerKAT site was switched on for the first time at the end of September 2010, to allow for testing and commissioning of the line from the substation to the Klerefontein support base, the MeerKAT site complex at Losberg and the KAT-7 radio telescope. Read on

SKA South Africa and NRAO to deepen collaboration in 2011

On 17 September 2008, the South African SKA Project Office (SASPO) signed a formal collaboration agreement with the USA National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) with the shared goal of collaborating and cooperating to develop radio astronomy projects of common interest. Read on

MeerKAT Karoo Express - flying to the MeerKAT site

A new weekly charter flight, departing every Wednesday at 07:30 from Cape Town and returning the same day, leaving at 17:30 from Carnarvon, cuts the seven-hour road trip between the MeerKAT project office and the telescope site near Carnarvon in the Karoo to just more than an hour. Read on

Postdoctoral opportunities at SKA South Africa

The postdoctoral fellowship programme at the SKA South Africa provides talented postdoctoral scientists from around the world an opportunity to engage in ongoing research projects related to the mission of the project.
Read on

MeerKAT advances cutting-edge expertise

South Africa's MeerKAT project - and the prospect that the continent could possibly also host the SKA - is becoming a major catalyst for developing new skills and expertise around the globe, and to support development in Africa in particular. Read on

Students star at SA SKA postgraduate conference

The annual South African SKA postgraduate conference, now in its fifth year, is not only an excellent showcase for the high level of South African science students, but is fast becoming an extremely valuable meeting place for local and international researchers and students working together in fields such as astronomy, electrical engineering, astrophysics, applied mathematics and cosmology. Read on

Technician team deployed at KAT-7 in Karoo

A team of technicians will be permanently on site at the KAT-7 telescope in the Karoo from 1 March 2011 to provide technical support during the roll-out and commissioning of the instrument. They are Sibusiso Wakhaba, André Walker, Matthys Maree and Siyabulela Tshongweni. Read on

Review of Karoo reserve infrastructure

The infrastructure currently being developed at South Africa's astronomy reserve in the Karoo region of its Northern Cape Province will serve the MeerKAT radio telescope, but is being designed with the first phase of the SKA in mind.
Read on

Virtual sky display in MeerKAT control room
A real-time virtual sky display has been installed as part of the newly deployed control room in the Cape Town MeerKAT project office. Read on

SKA online - useful websites
A list of useful websites for detailed information about the SKA and MeerKAT.
View the list