FNWI --- IMAPP Department of Astrophysics
Radboud University > Faculty of Science > Department of Astrophysics

Square Kilometer Array

Artist's impression of the SKA dishes. Credit: SPDO/TDP/DRAO/Swinburne Astronomy ProductionsThe Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is going to be the world’s largest radio telescope, prepared by a global consortium. Already the first phase will be five times larger than LOFAR in a similar frequency range.

An array of thousands of receptors will extend out to distances of 3,000 km from a central core region. The SKA will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang, how galaxies have evolved since then, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth.

Sixty seven organisations in 20 countries, together with industry partners, are participating in the scientific and technical design of the SKA telescope which will be located in either Australia – New Zealand or Southern Africa extending to the Indian Ocean Islands. The target construction cost is €1,500 million and construction is scheduled to start in 2016.

Heino Falcke has participated in various functions in the SKA project already. LOFAR and Apertif at the Westerbork telescope are considered some of the main pathfinders for the SKA in Europe