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The permanent headquarters of the international Square Kilometre Array will be based in Britain.

Members of the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project took the decision at a meeting on Wednesday.
Formal negotiations on the arrangements will now start with the UK government.

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Astronomers preparing to map the Universe with largest radio telescope ever built

Scientists from around the world have joined forces to lay the foundations for an experiment of truly astronomical proportions: putting together the biggest map of the Universe ever made.
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SKA Organisation Headquarters opening ceremony paves the way forward for the world's largest radio telescope

Less than a year after the decision to site the revolutionary Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in both Southern Africa and Australia, the SKA Organisation has opened its new international headquarters.
In front of an invited audience of local and global dignitaries, scientists and engineers, the UK Minister for Universities and Science the Rt. Hon. David Willetts MP recently opened the building which will be home to the team managing the construction, design and scientific output of this groundbreaking telescope.
The SKA Organisation headquarters, located near to, and with views of the iconic Lovell Telescope at the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK, will be the central control hub for a global team who, over the next decade, will be building the SKA - the largest radio telescope ever seen on Earth.

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SKA Request for Proposals

The SKA office has released its request for proposals to the SKA community. 
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Big Bang Meets Big Data

Square Kilometre Array (SKA) South Africa, a business unit of the country's National Research Foundation is joining ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, and IBM in a four-year collaboration to research extremely fast, but low-power exascale computer systems aimed at developing advanced technologies for handling the massive amount of data that will be produced by the SKA, which is one of the most ambitious science projects ever undertaken.
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Title: Pathway to the Square Kilometre Array - The German White Paper -
Authors: F. Aharonian, T. G. Arshakian, B. Allen, R. Banerjee, R. Beck, W. Becker, D. J. Bomans, D. Breitschwerdt, M. Brüggen, A. Brunthaler, B. Catinella, D. Champion, B. Ciardi, R. Crocker, M. A. de Avillez, R. J. Dettmar, D. Engels, T. Enßlin, H. Enke, T. Fieseler, L. Gizon, E. Hackmann, B. Hartmann, C. Henkel, M. Hoeft, L. Iapichino, D. Innes, C. James, J. Jasche, D. Jones, V. Kagramanova, G. Kauffmann, E. Keane, J. Kerp, H.-R. Klöckner, K. Kokkotas, M. Kramer, M. Krause, M. Krause, N. Krupp, J. Kunz, C. Lämmerzahl, K. J. Lee, M. List, K. Liu, A. Lobanov, G. Mann, A. Merloni, E. Middelberg, J. Niemeyer, A. Noutsos, V. Perlick, W. Reich, P. Richter, A. Roy, A. Saintonge, G. Schäfer, J. Schaffner-Bielich, E. Schinnerer, D. Schleicher, P. Schneider, D. J. Schwarz, A. Sedrakian, et al. (10 additional authors not shown)

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is the most ambitious radio telescope ever planned. With a collecting area of about a square kilometre, the SKA will be far superior in sensitivity and observing speed to all current radio facilities. The scientific capability promised by the SKA and its technological challenges provide an ideal base for interdisciplinary research, technology transfer, and collaboration between universities, research centres and industry. The SKA in the radio regime and the European Extreme Large Telescope (E-ELT) in the optical band are on the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and have been recognised as the essential facilities for European research in astronomy. This "White Paper" outlines the German science and R&D interests in the SKA project and will provide the basis for future funding applications to secure German involvement in the Square Kilometre Array.

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Germany joins the SKA Organisation

The Board of Directors of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation has approved Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), as the tenth member of the organisation to participate in the detailed design of the SKA telescope.
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Title: The History of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) - Born Global
Authors: Ron Ekers

A brief review of the history of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) from its pre 1990 roots and the global vision which emerged, at the VLA 10th anniversary meeting in 1990, to the major international project we have today. I comment on the evolution of the science and the technology that has occurred during this period. Finally, we can ask: "What have we learned?"

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Title: After the SKA - Radio Astronomy in 2049
Authors: Lisa Harvey-Smith

The concept of a Square Kilometre Array was developed to ensure that progress in Radio Astronomy in the early 21st Century continued at the same impressive pace as was achieved during the first 50 years. The SKA telescope is designed to pave that road to greater and greater sensitivity. So what technical challenges does the project face and what key innovations will drive the success of the SKA? What will the next Radio Astronomy mega-science project look like? In this article the author discusses the likely avenues of progress in the coming decades and comments on the status of radio astronomy in 2049 - the author's 70th (and presumably her retirement) year.

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Title: Square Kilometre Array station configuration using two-stage beamforming
Authors: Aziz Jiwani, Tim Colegate, Nima Razavi-Ghods, Peter J Hall, Shantanu Padhi, Jan Geralt bij de Vaate

The lowest frequency band (70 - 450 MHz) of the Square Kilometre Array will consist of sparse aperture arrays grouped into geographically-localised patches, or stations. Signals from thousands of antennas in each station will be beamformed to produce station beams which form the inputs for the central correlator. Two-stage beamforming within stations can reduce SKA-low signal processing load and costs, but has not been previously explored for the irregular station layouts now favoured in radio astronomy arrays. This paper illustrates the effects of two-stage beamforming on sidelobes and effective area, for two representative station layouts (regular and irregular gridded tile on an irregular station). The performance is compared with a single-stage, irregular station. The inner sidelobe levels do not change significantly between layouts, but the more distant sidelobes are affected by the tile layouts; regular tile creates diffuse, but regular, grating lobes. With very sparse arrays, the station effective area is similar between layouts. At lower frequencies, the regular tile significantly reduces effective area, hence sensitivity. The effective area is highest for a two-stage irregular station, but it requires a larger station extent than the other two layouts. Although there are cost benefits for stations with two-stage beamforming, we conclude that more accurate station modelling, and SKA-low configuration specifications, are required before design finalisation.

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