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Australia Space Science Politics

SKA Telescope Site Debate Not Over Yet 78

Posted by timothy
from the where's-that-stupid-fat-lady dept.
angry tapir writes "Although earlier reports claimed that a scientific panel recommended South Africa over Australia as the best site for the proposed Square Kilometre Array, the SKA board of directors is still debating which country will host the enormous US$2.1-billion radio telescope. The scientific panel only recommended South Africa by a narrow margin earlier this month."
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SKA Telescope Site Debate Not Over Yet

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  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:26PM (#39470317)
    Apparently Australia already proved they can provide a lower noise-floor and it is technically the best option. It just costs a bit more and noone can get the "feel good" factor they get from giving money to African nations.
  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Sunday March 25, 2012 @09:01PM (#39470523)

    It just costs a bit more and noone can get the "feel good" factor they get from giving money to African nations.

    I cited my quote about the pros and cons considered by the SKA board for each country. Perhaps you can cite your quote about this "feel good" factor to which you refer. Otherwise I shall just have to assume that you are filling in the blanks with your own biases like Taco Cowboy did.

  • Re:Fascinitating (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AHuxley (892839) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @11:30PM (#39471393) Homepage Journal
    A scientific project in South Africa?
    South Africa has mining experts, heavy engineering, defence experts, past nuclear experts, good computing and maths backgrounds.
    They built their own nuclear reactors, nuclear weapons, bio/chem weapons and did well with very complex aerospace upgrades.
    Australia has a research reactor, a few universities with hand me down computers and still needs direct guidance from UK and US intelligence/contractors for complex projects.
    Staff would always be an issue in Australia - getting the right people out of the cities is really, really expensive.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 26, 2012 @01:27AM (#39471853)

    You get the best possible virtual dish by have a central concentration of antennas, with gradually wider-spaced ones as you move out. (The term astronomers use for this is "u-v coverage".) See here [sciencelearn.org.nz] for an example: the Australian bid would have most of the antennas in Western Australia, with a handful scattered across the rest of the continent and New Zealand. Similarly, the South African bid would have most of the antennas in-country, but with a few scattered northwards across the rest of the continent.

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