The world’s largest radio telescope project Square Kilometre Array (SKA), designed for detailed understanding of the universe and involving India, China and nine other countries, has come one step closer to construction with the completion of its first phase design.
The project, the first phase of which will cost USD 700 million, encompasses two complementary world-class telescopes in Australia and South Africa, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
Construction is due to start in 2018, with initial observations in 2020, state-run Xinhua news agency cited CAS National Astronomical Observatories as saying.
The telescope arrays, designed to monitor and map the sky in unprecedented detail and speed, aim at improving understanding of the universe and the laws of fundamental physics.
The project is currently supported by 11 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
More than 100 companies and institutions in 20 countries are involved in research and development.
The CAS, China Electronics Technology Group and many Chinese universities have a role in research and development for the project.