Astronomy for Technological Capacity-Building Across Science

Sunday, 15 February 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room LL21B (San Jose Convention Center)
Bernie Fanaroff, Square Kilometre Array (SKA) South Africa Project , Cheshire, United Kingdom
My talk aims to look behind the scenes at the nuts and bolts of the world’s largest technology-rich and knowledge-intensive engineering programme to-date in radio astronomy: Square Kilometre Array. From technology development in antennas and fibre networks, to signal processing and software and computing, with countless spinoffs across the sciences, I will spotlight the significant challenges being overcome and opportunities being grasped by associated international teams. As a pertinent case-study, I will equally explore progress being made towards the completion of the Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network (AVN) of radio telescopes across Africa. Beyond the core missions of these ground-breaking initiatives, I will stress their critical practical and psychological role in building Africa's scientific and technical capacities to engage with the knowledge economy, especially big data.