Canada is partnering with other countries to study the universe.
Organisations in 16 countries are currently taking part in the SKA project at government or national-coordination level or are represented as observers – Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Eight African partner countries are involved in coordinated action to support the future expansion of the SKA project in Africa… With 40% of the world’s population across the partnership, the SKA Observatory is truly a global enterprise.
SKAO is a giant radio telescope consisting of thousands of individual elements across vast areas, with two remote sites located in South Africa’s Karoo desert region and the Wajarri Yamaji traditional lands in outback Western Australia. And Canada’s involvement means Canadian companies can bid on work for this billion-dollar mega science project.
Canada was one of six countries that formed SKA’s initial consortium in 2000, and has been highly engaged through concept design and preparation – and now, construction. For 10 years the National Research Council’s Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre has been developing key technologies for SKA telescopes – innovations that will not only offer high scientific utility, but can potentially benefit the Canadian economy. These innovative technologies include:
- Correlator/beamformer digital signal processing,
- Composite dish reflectors,
- Cryogenic low-noise amplifiers,
- High-speed direct-conversion digitizers, and
- Phased array feeds.
You can read more about Canada’s involvement in SKAO here.
Although small in size, the Canadian astronomy sector is mighty. Canada already conducts research with radio astronomy facilities in Penticton, BC; Chile, and New Mexico. Companies that can offer goods and services to the astronomy sector may find opportunities in the Canadian market.
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