The Square Kilometre Array (SKA, www.skatelescope.org) will be the most sensitive radio telescope ever built. It will consist of two different instruments, one operating at low frequencies (50 –350 MHz) and located in Western Australia and one at higher frequencies (0.35 – 15.35 GHz) located in South Africa.
These radio telescopes are conceived to make breakthrough discoveries in several areas of astronomy (Cosmic Dawn, Epoch of Reionization, Cosmic Magnetism, Galaxy Evolution, Cosmology, Dark Energy, Radio Transients).
The SKA low-frequency instrument (SKA1-Low) will be deployed in the Murchison Radio-astronomy.
Observatory (MRO) in the Australian desert and will consist of an array of more than 100.000 antennas grouped in stations. Each station is a subarray of 256 antennas (see figure) randomly distributed within a circular area having a diameter of 38 m.
The final antenna and array design come from a 10-years-long collaboration within the AAVP consortium and more recently under the supervision of the SKA Office (UK).
The UAV-based antenna measurement system has been also developed in this framework.
Partners: INAF (Italy), SKA Office (UK), ASTRON (The Netherlands), STNF (UK), University of Cambridge (UK), University of Oxford (UK), University of Malta, Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (Australia), SIRIO Antenne (Italy)
IEIIT is involved in the design and testing of the low-frequency array.
Funding: Istituto Nazionale di Astro Fisica (INAF)
Timeline: 2010 - in progress