NRC signs 2 year deal to continue cooperation in the Square Kilometer Array

Artist illustration of the Square Kilometer Array. Credit: SKAO.

The Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) has posted an update on Canada’s involvement in the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).

According to CASCA “In late November, (the) NRC (National Research Council) signed a two-year cooperation agreement with the SKAO to allow Canada’s scientific and engineering communities to continue participation in the project, while membership in the SKAO is given full consideration by the federal government.”

“Key elements of the cooperation agreement include the delivery of the AA0.5 SKA1-Mid correlator using Canadian data processing technology developed by NRC-HAA and industry partner MDA during the design phase, and the opportunity for Canadian industry to participate in construction tender and procurement across the project through March 2023.”

“Canada’s long-term participation in the SKA would require a commitment to construction and operations beyond the cooperation agreement, and this commitment would be needed well before the agreement expires in 2023 in order to maintain our leading role in the SKA1-Mid correlator work. Raising awareness about the SKA within government and universities continues to be an integral part of the process toward securing Canada’s future participation, and work by the Coalition for Canadian Astronomy in this regard has begun.”

The astronomy decadal report released by CASCA in 2020 included a recommendation for large investments, more than $30 million, in observatory programs including the Very Large Optical Telescope and participating in Phase 1 of the Square Kilometer Array.

CASCA further states that Phase 1 of the construction phase has begun.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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