First SKA dish erected in the Karoo

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory (SKAO) has announced that the first telescope dish for its SKA-Mid array has been assembled on site, in the Karoo region in the Northern Cape province. The SKAO is the international organisation responsible for the SKA, which will be the world’s biggest radio telescope array and will be composed of two instruments, SKA-Mid in South Africa, and SKA-Low in Australia, covering different but complementary radio frequency bands. Both arrays are being built in phases. The SKAO is headquartered in the UK. The 15 m diameter dish of the antenna was actually lifted on to its pedestal on Thursday last night, but only announced a week later. The operation was carried out by a combined team from the SKAO, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), and Chinese company CETC54, which is manufacturing the dishes. CETC54 also led the ten-country consortium that designed the dishes.

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