News & Views item - April 2011


SKA Moves a Step Forward. (April 6, 2011)

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is the 1.5 billion nine-nation project to design, build and run the world's most sensitive radio telescope*.


The choice of which of the two proposals put forward to be central for the SKA -- Australia/New Zealand or the Union of South Africa -- will be made next year but for now the establishment of its founding governing board will set up its project office at the Jodrell Bank Observatory near Manchester, U.K beginning New Year's Day 2012. According to "This new management structure will guide the project into the next phase of development."


ScienceInsider reports that the the SKA's Jodrell Bank office is expected to house a staff of ~60 people over the next four years. It will supersede the existing SKA Program Development Office (SPDO) currently based at the University of Manchester. Professor Richard Schilizzi, Director of the SKA, says: "The move to Jodrell Bank Observatory comes at a crucial time as the project grows from a concept to an international mega-science project. The new location and facilities will support the significant expansion that is planned."


 *Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK have signed a Letter of Intent in Rome, declaring their common ambition to see the SKA built, and agreed to work together to secure funding for the next phase of the SKA project.