This week the South African Astronomy Observatory (Sarao) announced that it had completed its engineering design work for the Science Data Processor (SDP) of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project.
According to Engineering News, the project involved 40 institutions in 11 countries and was led by the UK’s University of Cambridge. The SDP would consist of two supercomputers, one in South Africa and one in Australia.
“The unique requirements for the SDP have also driven our specialist to be creative and design unique technologies that allow Sarao to contribute to the economic development and commercialisation in South Africa,” explained Sarao MD, Dr Rob Adam.
Furthermore the publication said that the South African institutions involved in the project were Sarao, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Centre for High Performance Computing, the University of Cape Town, local companies Space Advisory Company (SAC) and Eclipse Holdings.
Engineering News adds that Sarao and South African specialists will continue to be involved in any further developments of the SDP leading to its construction.
The two supercomputers are located in Cape Town and Perth, with the two countries co-hosting the core elements. South Africa has mid-frequency elements while Australia will run low-frequency elements of the SKA.