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Abstract content <br> (Max 300 words)<br><a href="http://events.saip.org.za/getFile.py/access?resId=0&materialId=0&confId=34" target="_blank">Formatting &<br>Special chars</a>
South Africa has been involved in the Square Kilometre Array project for about a decade, starting as a minor partner in this international endeavour and now building the MeerKAT, the largest radio telescope array in the world and an SKA precursor. This talk will present the recent history and current status of the international SKA project, and provide an overview of the activities of the SKA South Africa project office. Topics related to the SKA include the implications of the decision to locate the SKA in both Africa and Australia, the top priority science drivers for SKA Phase 1 and Phase 2, the technologies to be employed by the SKA, and the design process for Phase 1 that is currently underway. The major activity of the SKA SA project office is the construction of the MeerKAT radio telescope and the establishment of a radio astronomy observatory facility in the Karoo. The science case and technical implementation of MeerKAT will be introduced, emphasizing the role that MeerKAT plays as an SKA precursor. A brief overview of the various ancillary projects being pursued and supported by SKA SA will be presented. These include the Human Capital Development Programme, the African VLBI Network (AVN), Big Data Africa, PAPER/HERA, C-BASS and a technology transfer and commercialization programme.
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