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SKA is coming to town, and you’re invited

Charlie Gunningham
Charlie Gunningham

EXCLUSIVE! An opportunity exists for startups to engage with the Square Kilometre Array project …

You’ve probably heard of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, perhaps even the Pawsey Centre. But of what relevance is this to you, a humble startup?

First, the geek bit. As you may know, the SKA is a global radio telescope project currently being built that involves institutions from over 20 countries.

When fully operational it will be the largest and most capable radio telescope ever constructed, generating a raw data rate of around 1TB/second and an estimated 250-300 PB per year of data products.

Yes, that’s one terrabytes a second speed. While some of us think the NBN’s 25 or 40MBps is pretty cool, might you not have a startuppy project that could crunch data at this kind of speed? Imagine the possibilities.

During its 50+ year lifetime, it will seek to expand our understanding of the universe and drive technological development worldwide. And it’s happening right here in WA – you can even see it on Google Maps.

The first phase includes two telescopes – SKA1-Low in Western Australia and SKA1-Mid in South Africa – which will comprise of 131,072 antennas distributed over 512 stations operating between 0.35-14GHz. (More info on the infographic below.)

Wow. This thing is huge. So what?

A global network of SKA Regional Centres will be the data access points for end users. Plans for these centres are currently being developed and early engagement is being sought with industry. One such centre will be located in Australia.

There are TWO opportunities to meet SKA data leaders – one meeting is in Sydney on 4th April, but the first is here in Perth on Mon 19th March. Yes, this coming Monday.

Who can attend?

This is invite only. The leaders want to hear from technology leads in the ICT industry, data science and space industries, including startups.

Meet staff from CSIRO, the Pawsey Centre and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and to start a conversation about future collaborations.

Also included in the briefing event will be an update on the ERIDANUS Project – a three year design study commenced in April 2017, aimed at deploying prototype data intensive research infrastructure and middleware, between and within Australia and China, capable of addressing SKA-class data and processing challenges.


To register your interest for the meeting on Monday, contact Peter Rossdeutscher by emailing [email protected]. Relevant startups with ideas for collaboration are encouraged to attend. Don’t say you weren’t told about it.

Photo Credit: SKA-low close up & infographic –

SKA is coming to town, and you’re invited

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Charlie Gunningham

Charlie Gunningham

Former co-founder, GM, CEO Business News and Accelerating Commercialisation adviser. Charlie has spent 20+ years in Perth's startup scene, as founder, mentor, adviser, writer and investor. There's nothing he likes more than helping early stage tech startups ... and drinking coffee, shiraz or playing in a blues band. Email Charlie here.
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