- Telescope is 10,000 times faster than any radio telescope today
- Huge array of dishes connected by optical fibres
- £1.3 billion machine will come to life in 2016
The £1.3 billion Square Kilometer Array is one of the most ambitious science projects ever undertaken - and the biggest telescope every built.
It will consist of dishes spread over a square kilometer of land in either South Africa or New Zealand - and will scan the sky 10,000 times faster than any existing telescope.
Signals received by the SKA will be transferred to a central high performance supercomputer by optical fibres. The rate at which the vast quantities of data will be transferred will far exceed the data rates of current internet traffic - but IBM is already designing machines to digest it.
The Square Kilometer Array will generate so much data that no supercomputer on Earth could deal with it - every day, it will generate an 'exabyte' of data, more than the world's daily internet traffic
Astronomers and engineers from more than 70 institutes in 20 countries are designing the SKA - it will be 50 times more sensitive, and will survey the sky 10,000 times faster, than any other telescope