Europe is leading efforts to develop the SKA which will enable astronomers to see the formation of the early Universe, the birth of the cosmos and maybe even its demise. They are putting together a radically different concept for SKA in which the entire ‘collector' is made up of phased-arrays - as used in radars - instead of conventional dishes. This so-called ‘all-electronic' telescope will have unprecedented power, be very flexible to use and provide access to many users simultaneously.
A consortium of European research teams submitted a proposal to the European Commission for funding from the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to further develop and demonstrate the Aperture Array concept suitable for SKA. The resulting four-year European SKADS involves 29 institutes who, thanks to European Commission funding, are going to design linchpin (enabling) technologies - i.e. broad-band radio frequency (RF) antenna arrays, robust RF amplifiers, ultra-fast analogue to digital converters and signal processing techniques, high data throughput networks, and precise time and frequency transfer techniques via optical fibres - for the broader international SKA project.
Overall coordination of SKADS (DS1); coordinator for DS3 (The Network and its output data) and DS5 (Aperture Array Demonstrator EMBRACE); major participant in DS4 (technical foundations and enabling technologies) and DS8 (Overall System Design and Preliminary Project Plan).
More about SKADS: www.skads-eu.org