Multi-million Rand telescope project launched in Durban

HIRAX will be a compact radio telescope array of 1 024 six-metre dishes that will map about a third of the sky during its four years of observation.

THE University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) held a high profile launch for their groundbreaking HIRAX telescope recently in Durban.

The multi-million rand telescope, launched by Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, will create cutting edge South African science, stimulate economic and technological development, and train students in critical skills.

ALSO READ: Architectural award for UKZN building

The experiment will be managed by UKZN and is a result of a large global collaboration with at least eight South African institutions and another dozen internationally.

In addition, the project will work with industry to develop new technology and innovation, such as telescope hardware and big data analysis tools.

The HIRAX principal investigator, Prof Kavilan Moodley of UKZN said, “the HIRAX project is exciting because we are working with a dynamic group of students and scientists that work on all aspects of the project, from building the telescope and analysing the data to scientific interpretation. We are aiming to use our competitive advantage of being on the excellent SKA SA Karoo site to have an impact on the study of dark energy and fast radio bursts.”

 

 

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