Square Kilometre Array

Coordinating university or institute

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, www.ri.se/en


The Square Kilometre Array (SKA)

Project description

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with eventually over a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area. The scale of the SKA represents a huge leap forward in both engineering and research and development towards building and delivering a unique instrument, with the detailed design and preparation now well under way.

The SKA will eventually use thousands of dishes and up to a million low-frequency antennas that will enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail and survey the entire sky much faster than any system currently in existence. Its unique configuration will give the SKA unrivalled scope in observations, largely exceeding the image resolution quality of the Hubble Space Telescope.

South Africa’s Karoo region and Western Australia’s Murchison Shire have been chosen as co-hosting locations. South Africa’s Karoo will host the core of the high and mid frequency dishes, ultimately extending over the African continent. Australia’s Murchison Shire will host the low-frequency antennas.

The SKA Signal and Data Transport (SADT) Consortium, was led by the University of Manchester, and incorporates the Synchronization and Timing (SAT) SADT sub-element. SAT aims, inter alia, to provide a highly accurate reference frequency distribution system to both the SKA-Mid and SKA-Low telescopes.




RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden

  • Sven-Christian Ebenhag, PhD, Senior Scientist, Unit Time and Optics
  • Per Olof Hedekvist, PhD, Senior Scientist, Unit Time and Optics

Core deliverables

SAT had two candidates for frequency distribution designs. In order to select a single candidate to go forward to Critical Design Review by the SKA Organization, the Consortium management performed a down selection process. The process involved assessment by an expert panel in which RISE was one of the partners. Using a pre-defined formal process and methodology, the Consortium asked the appointed expert panel to reach a consensual agreement regarding which, if any, of the candidate designs best met the requirements of the SKA-Mid and SKA-Low telescopes.

Total budget

In kind


The project was a part of the SKA SADT consortium.


210528 SKA

Procurement codes

Electronics and radio frequency
Optics and photonics

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