Start date: 23/10/2014

 End date: 23/10/2014

  • Place: Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Granada (Spain)
  • Organizer: Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro
  • Description:The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be a multi-purpose radiointerferometer with a collecting area of 1 square kilometre, distributed over a distance of at least 3000 km, co-located in Africa and Australia. The SKA is qualified as high-priority in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and ASTRONET roadmaps, with potential for fundamental breakthroughs in astrophysics, physics, and astrobiology, hence well beyond the radioastronomers community. It will drive, at the same time, technological development in areas of social impact, such as high-speed data distribution, massive data processing, and renewable energies (generation, storage and distribution), among others.The SKA Project is an international effort, with around 100 participating organisations from about 20 countries. Pre-construction started in 2012 and currently 11 international consortia are carrying out design work to enable the project to enter the construction phase in 2018, with the Call for Tenders having place in 2017. In November 2014 SKA will reach the Preliminary Design Review milestone, getting ready for the Critical Design Review, to be completed at the end of 2016. Early science is planned to start by 2020, with up to 10 times more sensitivity, and hundred times faster survey capabilities than current radio-interferometers. An updated version of the Key Science Projects will be published in the first quarter of 2015.The scientific interest of the Spanish community in SKA was shown during the RIA meeting “Ciencia y oportunidades tecnológicas en la era SKA” (Science and Technological Opportunities in the SKA Era) held in May 2011, as well as by the creation of the Spanish SKA Network (Red Española del SKA), funded by the former MICINN from November 2011 to January 2014. The technological interest from Spanish academic centers and companies was presented and confirmed in the meeting “ SKA: Strategic Position and Future Opportunities for Spanish Industry” held in Madrid in November 2012, and reported in the VIA-SKA document “The feasibility study of the technological Spanish participation in the SKA” under the grant funded by the former MICINN, and presented to the RIA Working Group “Radio Astronomy Infrastructures” in May 2013. At the beginning of 2014, the Board of the Spanish Astronomy Infrastructures Network endorsed the recommendation issued by the Radio Astronomy Infrastructures working group on the interest of the scientific community and industry that Spain explore the possibility to join the SKA project as Full Member before the construction phase starts.

    Spanish researchers have been participating in different SKA working groups since 2012, and currently 9 Spanish research centres and 11 companies are contributing to the SKA design efforts to several work packages (Dishes, Signal & Data Transport, Central Signal Processor, Science Data Processor, Telescope Manager, and Infrastructure) with an estimated financial value of ~€2M, officially acknowledged by the SKA Board. Since October 2013 a representative of the Spanish government has been regularly invited to participate in the SKA Board meetings. Spain is also a member of the SKA Communications and Outreach Network (SKACON), represented by the Outreach Units of Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (CSIC) and Universidad de Valencia.

    The Spanish SKA Day will take place on the 23rd October at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC, Granada), with the support of the Spanish Astronomy Infrastructures Network (RIA). The main purpose of the meeting is to present a scientific and technical overview of the SKA project, with a special emphasis on the Spanish participation, with the aims of:

    • Facilitating the Spanish researchers to identify their niche among SKA scientific goals, as well as making the Spanish community present in SKA Science Working Groups, in order to favour an active role in the preparation and exploitation of the SKA.
    • To present to the Spanish research community the status of the participation of the Spanish technological groups and companies in the SKA design and construction.
    • Making the engineers participanting in the SKA pre-construction consortia aware of the scientific interest of SKA for our community
    • Informing industry on the potential areas of involvement for the PDR to CDR phase as well as for Construction


    The meeting will combine invited scientific and engineer presentations, and will end up with a discussion session on the next steps of the Spanish community towards the SKA. While no contributed oral presentations are planned, a space devoted to posters will be available, and can be submitted via the registration form.

    Preliminary program

    The Spanish SKA day will start with an opening talk by the SKA Director General, Prof. Phil Diamond, providing an overview of SKA status. The Spanish scientific and technological activities within the Scientific SKA Network (José Carlos Guirado), VIA-SKA project (Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro), and the RIA (Jesús Martín Pintado) will be presented, while CDTI industrial activities in large international facilities will be revised (Kauzar Saleh). Then scientific and technical talks will be alternated, so that groups interested in the science of SKA will present the main SKA science cases (Epoch of reionization/cosmology, HI and galaxy evolution, magnetic fields, transient Universe, nuclear activity, or galactic astronomy among others), while engineers participating in SKA design consortia will present their contributions.

    Registration Form

    Interested people are encouraged to register as soon as possible at the link below.
    No contributed oral presentations are planned, but posters will be welcome, and an abstract can be submitted via the registration form.

    Important dates

    • Registration deadline: 10th October
    • Submission deadline for posters: 10th October                                                                                                                     &minbsp;

    Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC)

    • Chair: Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro, IAA-CSIC
    • José Carlos Guirado, UV
    • Antxon Alberdi, IAA-CSIC
    • Jesús Martín Pintado, CAB-CSIC/INTA
    • Kauzar Saleh, CDTI
    • Jordi Torra, UB
    • Rafael Rebolo, IAC
    • Rafael Bachiller, OAN-IGN
    • Enrique Martinez, IFCA-CSIC/UC
    • Javier Gorgas, UCM
    • Marisa García Vargas, Fractal SLNE 

    Local Organizing Committee (LOC)

    • Julián Garrido, IAA-CSIC
    • Emilio García, IAA-CSIC
    • Javier Blasco, IAA-CSIC
    • Sonia Antón, IAA-CSIC
    • Naim Ramirez Olivencia, IAA-CSIC
    • Esther Sanchez
    • Esther Calle, RIA


    Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro: lourdes(AT)

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