The Australian government has awarded a total of $19 million in funding grants to organisations involved with the design of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.
Co-hosted by Australia and South Africa, the SKA will be the world’s largest radio telescope when it becomes operational in 2020. It will help the search for Earth-like planets, alien life forms, dark matter and black holes.
The pre-construction grants are conditional upon the recipients being selected by the international SKA Organisation to undertake work packages, worth around $114 million. The successful tenderers will be announced later in 2013.
According to grant documents (PDF), CSIRO was allocated $6.19 million for the SKA’s dish and receiver systems and a further $1.42 million for assembly, integration and verification.
Cisco was awarded $400,000 for the design of the central signal processor and $500,000 for signal and data transport. The vendor will assist the overall network design for SKA including infrastructure and precursor integration in collaboration with South Africa.
AARNet also received $795,000 for signal and data transport. Its contribution will be in the areas of network topology and architecture for the Australian components of the SKA, with a particular emphasis on integration with the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP).
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