AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 73. Square Kilometer Array
Special Session Oral, Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 10:00-11:30am, State

[Previous] | [Session 73] | [Next]

[73.01] The Future of Radio astronomy

R. D. Ekers (CSIRO)

Five decades ago, astronomers finally broke free of the boundaries of light when a new science, radio astronomy, was born. This new way of ‘seeing’ rapidly uncovered a range of unexpected objects in the cosmos. This was our first view of the non-thermal universe, and our first unobscured view of the universe. In its short life, radio astronomy has had an unequalled record of discovery, including four Nobel prizes: Big-Bang radiation, neutron stars, aperture synthesis and gravitational radiation. Radio telescopes have followed the pattern of exponential growth generally seen in flourishing areas of science and technology and there is no technical reason for this not to continue, but to do so will require a shift in technology that will set new challenges.

New technologies have made it possible to construct an affordable radio telescope with collecting area of one square km the SKA. Such a telescope would be so powerful that we could expand our knowledge of the universe from the earliest stages of its formation through to planetary exploration with greatly enhanced spacecraft communications. The SKA will join the new generation of telescopes at other wavebands with the sensitivity and resolution to image the earliest phases of galaxy formation, as well as greatly extending the range of unique science accessible at radio wavelengths. We already know how to build an SKA, the issue is how to build the most cost effective SKA, and how to maximize the science we can do with it. The path we have chosen to achieve this vision is through international collaboration. Following the pattern of other successful international collaborations in science we have started this process early, and we are already benefiting from the level of innovation generated by our international interactions.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to .http://skatelescope.org/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

[Previous] | [Session 73] | [Next]