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Media release

New agreement will foster high-level science collaboration with the US

7 August 2013

Signing a five-year agreement for high-level collaboration designed to promote radio astronomy: Dr Tony Beasley, Director of the USA National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Dr Bernie Fanaroff, Director of SKA South Africa. (Photo: Peter Macfarlane, SKA SA). Download hi-res version
South Africa's SKA Project (SKA SA) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in the US have agreed to continue their collaboration across a broad front to advance cutting-edge radio astronomy projects in both countries over the next five years. An agreement signed in Cape Town on 5 August 2013 paves the way for the organisations to pool resources and expertise in high-level projects related to the development and implementation of software, data processing and archiving and state-of-the-art receiving systems. SKA SA and NRAO will exchange staff and students and hold joint workshops, and also plan to establish joint research and development activities.

"The collaboration agreement renews long-standing ties between SKA SA and NRAO and comes at a time when a major push is required in algorithms, software and computing to support the new and upgraded facilities in the US and SA. We are talking here of cutting edge work in high peformance computing and algorithms that is of great significance for radio astronomy worldwide", says Dr Jasper Horrell, general manager: science computing and innovation, SKA SA.

"Radio astronomy in both countries will benefit from sharing expertise resulting from recent expansions and upgrades to several radio astronomy facilities in the USA and the construction of the KAT-7 and the MeerKAT in South Africa," Dr Fanaroff commented. "Scientists in the US are keen to collaborate with South Africa in the construction of the MeerKAT telescope as a precursor to the SKA, because they recognize that the MeerKAT will be a world leading and very exciting telescope in its own right."

Media enquiries: Dr Jasper Horrell, 021 506 7340 / jasper@ska.ac.za