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Proceedings Paper

The Square Kilometre Array
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Paper Abstract

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is the future centimeter- and meter-wavelength telescope with a sensitivity about 50 times higher than present instruments. Its Key Science Projects are (a) Astrobiology including planetary formation within protoplanetary disks; (b) Testing theories of gravitation using an array of pulsars to search for gravitational waves and relativistic binaries to probe the strong-field regime; (c) The origin and evolution of cosmic magnetism, both within the Galaxy and in intergalactic space, via an all-sky grid of magnetic field measurements; (d) The end of the Dark Ages, involving searches for a neutral hydrogen signature, the first supermassive black holes, and the first metal-rich systems; and (e) A hydrogen census to a redshift z greater than or equal to 1 from which to study the evolution of galaxies, dark matter, and dark energy. The SKA will operate at wavelengths from 1.2 cm to 3 m (0.1-25 GHz), providing milliarcsecond resolution at the shortest wavelengths. Its instantaneous field of view will be about 1° (20 cm wavelength), with many simultaneous beams on the sky. The Reference Design is composed of a large number of small dish antennas, building upon an original US proposal. In order to obtain these capabilities at a reasonable cost, significant engineering investments are being made in antennas, wideband feeds and receivers, and signal processing; aperture arrays (phased feeds) are also being investigated in Europe for the lower frequencies. Candidate sites are in Argentina, Australia, China, and South Africa, with a short list of acceptable sites anticipated late in 2006.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 June 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6267, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes, 62672D (28 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.673512
Show Author Affiliations
Yervant Terzian, Cornell Univ./NAIC (United States)
Joseph Lazio, Naval Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6267:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes
Larry M. Stepp, Editor(s)

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