Square Kilometre Array Observatory

The Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) is the world's next-generation radio-astronomy observatory. Currently under construction, the SKAO will operate the 2 largest radio-telescope arrays in the world. The observatory is a global collaboration with partners on 5 continents and in both hemispheres.

The NRC represents Canada in the governance of the SKAO and provides financial contributions to ensure Canadian researchers have access to the telescopes. The NRC collaborates with domestic and international partners to deliver key observatory systems.

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SKA capabilities

The SKA telescopes are game-changers for radio astronomy: 2 world-leading, complementary radio telescopes on 2 continents, which will revolutionize our understanding of the universe and the laws of fundamental physics.

The SKAO and Canadian science

For over 40 years, Canadian astronomers have been at the forefront of defining the fundamental science and necessary technologies for the SKA. Canadians have been actively involved in nearly all of the science working groups within the SKA, half of which have been chaired by Canadians. Providing both technical advice and key technological components, Canada has also been a key partner in the design and construction of the SKA Observatory.

In addition to being a cutting-edge radio astronomy observatory, the SKAO is one of the world's largest big data projects. Canada will be home to one of the SKA's regional centres, which will be part of the SKA Regional Centre Network. This global network of interoperating data centres will process and provide access to SKA astronomical data. Maintained by the NRC's Canadian Astronomy Data Centre, Canada's regional centre team will work with scientists across the country to make SKAO a truly inclusive, equal-access facility.

Opportunities for Canadian industry

As a member of the SKAO, Canada is guaranteed equal access to SKA procurement opportunities. Interested parties can be notified of all market surveys (expressions of interest), including tender timescales, an overview of technical requirements and the basic pre-qualification criteria that the SKAO will apply to develop the final shortlist of suppliers selected to take part in those tenders.

For more information or to discuss potential SKAO opportunities, please contact Canada's SKAO Industry Liaison Officer by email at SKA-CAN-IndustryLiaison-LiaisonIndustrie-SKA-CAN@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca.