Hon Colin Barnett MEc MLA — Premier welcomes SKA scientists, engineers to WA

Hon Colin Barnett MEc MLA — Premier welcomes SKA scientists, engineers to WA

1Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett today welcomed more than 250 international scientists and engineers to Western Australia to attend the 2014 SKA Engineering Meeting in Fremantle.

The meeting is an important milestone for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, with more than 80 different institutions and companies from around the world coming together to discuss detailed designs for the SKA telescope and supporting infrastructure.

“A mega-science project like the SKA is only possible through collaboration on a world-wide scale,” Mr Barnett said.

“It is wonderful to see so many countries, industry leaders, scientists and engineers represented at this meeting.”

The SKA will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, allowing scientists to see the universe as it has never been seen before.

“The SKA is a new frontier in science, and its success will depend on scientists working together with industry to develop new technologies on an unprecedented scale,” the Premier said.

The SKA is currently in the preconstruction phase, which involves design work by 11 international consortia to ensure the telescope is ready for construction by 2018. WA’s International Centre for Radioastronomy Research and its industry partners are playing a leading role in designing the low-frequency antennas and the high-powered computing systems required to cope with large amounts of data generated by the SKA.

“The new data intensive computing technology developed for the SKA is likely to have many applications in a number of areas from medical research and agriculture to mining and disaster response,” Mr Barnett said.

“The SKA is a wonderful opportunity to display WA’s science and engineering capabilities. We have built a world-class radio astronomy base here, and I hope everyone involved in this meeting will be back in WA in the future as the project develops.”

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