Proceedings PaperThe Square Kilometer Array
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The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a global project to design and build a new generation radio telescope at metre to centimetre wavelengths. It will have a collecting area of order one million square metres, a sensitivity 100 times higher than the VLA, an instantaneous field of view (FOV) of at least 1 square degree and, in some designs, more than one FOV allowing multiple simultaneous use. It will be an extremely powerful survey telescope with the capability to follow up individual objects with high angular and time resolution. The SKA will reach a point source sensitivity of 10 nano-Jy in 8 hours of integration, and a maximum resolution of 1 milli arcsec at 20 GHz with excellent imaging capability at all resolutions and frequencies. The SKA science impact will be felt in astro-particle physics and cosmology, fundamental physics, galactic and extragalactic astronomy, and solar system science. Technological innovation, closely paralleling commercial IT developments, is key to the design concepts under investigation and to the cost goal of USD1000/m2. The selection of technologies for the SKA is scheduled in early 2008. A number of possible locations for the telescope are under investigation with a choice scheduled in early 2006. Construction of the array will take most of the next decade.