Go back

Canada joins Square Kilometre Array space telescope initiative

Image: Sarao

Global observatory extends membership to North America

Canada has joined the Square Kilometre Array Observatory radio telescope initiative as its tenth member state.

On 3 June SKAO said that Canada’s science minister, François-Philippe Champagne, had announced a $269 million (€182m) investment into the global space research facility over eight years.

Champagne said: “Canada’s membership in the SKAO will give Canadian researchers access to the world’s most powerful radio-telescope.”

SKAO is building the largest two telescope arrays in the world, in Australia and South Africa, with their construction due to finish in 2030. Headquartered in the UK, its other member countries include China, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

“Beyond astronomical discovery, SKAO-related technologies have the potential to enhance the everyday life of Canadians, through better networks, and in other areas like more accurate and advanced driver assistance systems in cars,” Champagne said.

The investment will be funnelled through the National Research Council of Canada’s (NRC) astronomy research centre, which will work with Canadian industrial partners on observatory systems. The NRC will represent Canada in the SKAO Council.

SKAO director-general Philip Diamond said: “Canada has been a valued partner within the SKA project for over 20 years, and I am delighted to welcome them as our newest member, extending the observatory’s membership into North America.”