SKA Organisation mulls new implementation options

 

New working group to inform site selection.

Organisers of the Square Kilometre Array project this week decided to explore new “implementation options” instead of eliminating either the remaining two bids to host the $2 billion radiotelescope.

Australia and New Zealand are jointly bidding against a consortium of eight southern African nations under a site selection process unveiled last July.

The SKA Organisation was expected to decide between the two bids following its first general meeting of members in the Netherlands on Tuesday.

But the organisation announced on Wednesday that it would set up “a small scientific working group” to explore ways to “maximise the value from the investments made” by both potential sites.

“The members [of the SKA Organisation] wished to move ahead with the site selection process and recognised that it is desirable to maintain an inclusive approach to SKA,” it stated.

“This working group will report back to the members at a meeting in mid-May; its report will provide additional information to facilitate the site decision for SKA.”

The SKA Organisation has yet to respond to iTnews’ query as to whether it would locate parts of the radiotelescope at each site.

Brian Boyle, director of the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) bid, said it would be “premature to comment on the technical feasibility of any specific option until one is actually proposed”.

Last month, reports emerged that the SKA Organisation’s expert Site Advisory Committee had judged the southern African bid stronger than that of Australia and New Zealand.

Boyle welcomed this week’s decision to investigate implementation options, although he declined to comment on speculation that Australia was the underdog.

“I am happy to say that the ANZ team welcomes the establishment of a scientific working group by the members of the SKA Organisation to further investigate siting options,” Boyle told iTnews today.

“ANZ stands ready to play our full part in this process. As part of this process, ANZ will continue to advance the scientific, financial and implementation advantages of the ANZ site proposal.”

Australian Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, also welcomed the decision to establish the new working group, noting that the SKA was a unique opportunity for the region to be “at the cutting edge of global mega-science”.

The Federal Government last year committed $40.2 million over four years to its bid to host the SKA, which could attract some $670 million of ICT to the country.

According to Senator Evans, Australia and New Zealand offered an “outstanding, low-risk environment ... with intrinsic radio-quietness; a robust, practical and extensive protection regime; a strong economy and good security”.

“Australia and New Zealand have demonstrated that the SKA can be cost-effectively built at the Murchison site in Western Australia, including taking advantage of the existing fibre-optic network,” he said.

“The existing infrastructure, in which we have already invested heavily, is world-leading, and, if our site is selected, there is further funding available to ensure the project’s success.

“The Australian and New Zealand governments are more than ready to host the SKA project.”

South African Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor said she was “disappointed at the delay” and hoped the SKA Organisation would make a decision in the first half of this year.

The SKA Organisation was established in November by Australia, China, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and Britain.

The board this week approved an application for Associate Membership in the SKA Organisation from India.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


SKA Organisation mulls new implementation options
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  20%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1496

Vote