The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is a global radio telescope initiative that will be built in Western Australia and South Africa. Operating over a wide range of frequencies, the SKA will have a collecting area of approximately one square kilometre and will require greater network capacity than the entire current global internet and exceed the processing capacity of the fastest supercomputers in the world today by a factor of 100.
Professor Brian Boyle, Australian SKA Director, is passionate about this project and what it could mean for the future of scientific knowledge and discovery. "It's going to address many of the key contemporary questions of physics and astronomy. What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy that comprises 96 per cent of our universe? How did the universe evolve from chaos to the very organised universe that we see today? And perhaps answering one of the most challenging questions in history: what and where are the conditions for life elsewhere in the universe?"
"Such a telescope will increase our ability to pick up signals from a volume of the cosmos up to a million times larger than previous telescopes. We will be able to pick up the equivalent of leakage from airport radars from planets orbiting stars out to 50 light-years from Earth. Quite frankly, probably the greatest scientific discovery that it will make is one that we can't even contemplate right now. Most major pieces of scientific kit end up answering questions that were not even considered when they were first built."