Pandor announces 2017 science budget, SKA ambitions still on track

Sarah Wild South Africa would dedicate R128,7-million to international co-operation and relations to secure partnerships in the international domain and create research opportunities for its researchers, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor told a media briefing in Cape Town on 16 May 2017. A major reason for this was to make up for government funding shortfalls and currency volatility. The

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Baby MeerKAT exceeds expectations

The first image from South Africa’s MeerKAT telescope shows that the telescope “will be a remarkable discovery machine”, MeerKAT chief scientist Dr Fernando Camilo said on Saturday. “The images tell us all that MeerKAT is the best telescope of its kind in the southern hemisphere, with only 16 dishes,” he told an assembled audience of ministers, deputy ministers and visitors

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Telescope not an easy sell amid SA’s poverty scars

IT IS a difficult sales pitch: a multibillion-dollar giant telescope used to investigate phenomena so esoteric years of study are required to understand them. Countries planning to build large scientific infrastructure have to sell the project and its objectives to their citizens. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a good example of this. The telescope will comprise thousands of antennas

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Belt-tightening hits SA’s SKA budget

South Africa’s radio astronomy ambitions are feeling the pinch of austerity as Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s 2016 budget cuts its Square Kilometre Array (SKA) allocation by R250-million. (*The department later noted that this was an error in the budget. The budget decreased by R89-million.) The SKA will be the largest radio telescope in the world, and will be co-hosted by

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SA’s SKA plans get a R40-million boost

South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array (SKA) infrastructure designs got a R40-million injection from the European Union (EU) on Tuesday. The SKA, which has a conservative price tag of €2-billion, will be the world’s largest radio telescope, comprising thousands of antennae throughout Australia and Africa, with the core in South Africa’s Northern Cape. It will attempt to answer some of science and

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Square Kilometre Array needed to train next generation of scientists — Pandor

Flagship initiatives such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project “have the potential to support our training and production of the next generation of scientists and technologists in Africa”, science and technology minister Naledi Pandor told the opening plenary of South Africa’s inaugural Science Forum. “Scientists need iconic, challenging initiatives that will respond to their search for new knowledge and

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SKARAB: SA’s solution to high-performance computing

Rows of racks hum in an underground bunker, hidden from the scorching sun and the sensitive radio antennas that dot the desert landscape in the Northern Cape. All processing capacity for South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array (SKA) precursor telescope, MeerKAT, has to be buried so that it will not interfere the dishes which will detect the relatively weak radio signals

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SKA one step closer to being another CERN

China this week joined a “select” group of countries that had entered into negotiations to create a treaty organisation to govern the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the SKA Organisation said on Tuesday. The SKA, which has a conservative price tag of €2-billion, will be the world’s largest radio telescope, comprising thousands of antennae throughout Australia and Africa with the core

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SKA Organisation gives smaller design the green light

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) phase one will now move into its final pre-construction phase, smaller than initially anticipated but within the EUR650-million budget cap. Construction will begin in 2018. The giant telescope, which will comprise thousands of antennae in Australia and Africa, with the core in South Africa, will be the largest scientific experiment in the world and will

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All systems so for SKA

African ministers of science and technology will return home this week with a plan to ready their countries for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and a network of radio telescopes on the continent. The giant telescope, which will comprise thousands of antennae in Australia and Africa with the core in South Africa, will be the largest scientific experiment in the

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