South Africa will join Australia to push the boundaries of science with the construction of a Square Kilometre Array Telescope. The massive telescope will be comprised of thousands of satellites, co-located in South Africa and Australia and covering a collection area of one million square metres. Once completed, the SKA will be the largest radio telescope in the world. Since current times use data and knowledge as key resources for economic development the SKA promises the chance for knowledge-based economic growth in South Africa.
Publishing an article about the telescope in the South African Journal of Science is first-year PhD student, Nishana Bhogal, who based her article on her MBA thesis, which she completed cum laude in 2016 under the supervision of Prof Thomas Koelble.
Entitled “The Role of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in South Africa’s economic development strategy”, Bhogal’s article discusses various factors that have effected this groundbreaking project in South Africa.
“The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an international project to build a radio telescope tens of times more sensitive and hundreds of times faster at mapping the sky than today’s best radio astronomy facilities. Simply put: the world’s largest radio telescope.The SKA is not a single telescope, but a collection of various types of antennas, called an array, to be spread over long distances,” she said.
Bhogal explained that as the world’s largest public science data project, the SKA will generate data at a rate more than 10 times today’s global internet traffic.
“The SKA telescope will be powerful enough to detect very faint radio signals emitted by cosmic sources billions of light years away from Earth, those signals emitted in the first billion years of the Universe (more than 13 billion years ago) when the first galaxies and stars started forming,” she added.
The SKA will be used to answer the fundamental questions of science such as how stars and galaxies form and evolve said Bhogal. “Perhaps, the most significant discoveries to be made by the SKA are those we cannot predict,” she added.
Bhogal, who is a PhD Candidate at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town said that the SKA telescope is a radio telescope.
To read Bhogal’s full article logon to www.sajs.co.za/article/view/4813