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Engage SKA: promoting science capacity and sustainability of Portuguese participation in SKA

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Brussels/Aveiro, May 9, 2014: ‘ENGAGE SKA’ - Enabling Green E-Science for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), is part of the Portuguese National Roadmap for Research Infrastructures. It congregates Universities and industry participating in the SKA Consortia bringing the Green ICT concepts to radio astronomy and is endorsed by the Portuguese government as a major radio astronomy plan. Its approval is a milestone in driving Portugal to consider its full membership to the SKA.

‘Engage SKA’ is lead by the Institute of Telecommunications, the Universities of Aveiro, Porto, and Evora, and the Polytechnic Institute of Beja. 

The industrial partners of the consortium include Martifer Solar, Critical Software, Critical Materials, Active Space Technologies, LC Technologies, Logica EM, PT Communications SA, Visabeira, Coriant and TICE.

The SKA is the largest global science project and the most ambitious innovation program in the world for this decade. Organisations from ten countries are currently members of the SKA Organisation namely, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. India has an Associate Member status. Further countries have expressed their interest in joining the SKA Organisation which will continue to expand over the coming years.

The telescope will scan the sky 10,000 times faster and 50 times higher than any other telescope. The objective of the international project, which will be ready in 2020, is to study the origins of the Universe and detect signs that may indicate the presence of extraterrestrial life.

It will be able to detect a radar on a planet 50 light years away from Earth, and thanks to the satellite dishes and aggregates of small antennas connected by fiber optics, whose total length is twice the diameter of Earth, the SKA will generate traffic data about 100 times greater than today's Internet and will be able to fill 15 million 64GB iPods every day. The ‘supercomputer’ will have a processing capacity of 1 Exaflop, equivalent to the number of stars that exist in three million Milky Ways.

Domingos Barbosa of the Institute of Telecommunications in Portugal highlighted the importance of the initiative, “ENGAGE SKA is a team platform Enabling Green E-science for SKA. It will promote excellent science capacity and sustainability of Portuguese participation in SKA taking Radio astronomy as an Innovation Open Living Lab.” 

ENGAGE SKA is a major stepping stone towards the Portuguese membership of the SKA, which will foster further cooperation between EU and African scientists and researchers, contributing to sustainable development with high socio-economic impact.

Further information https://www.facebook.com/engage.ska.portugal

 

 

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Editor’s Note

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA)

SKA is a global science and engineering project led by the SKA Organisation, a not-for-profit company with its headquarters at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Manchester, UK. 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. 

Thousands of linked radio wave receptors will be located in Australia and in Southern Africa. Combining the signals from the antennas in each region will create a telescope with a collecting area equivalent to a dish with an area of about one square kilometre.

Members of the SKA Organisation are Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Sweden and United Kingdom. India is an associate member.

For further information: please contact William Garnier, Chief Communications Officer of the SKA Organisation (w.garnier@skatelescope.org) or visit the website of the SKA Organisation: www.skatelescope.org  

 

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