We have been at the forefront of radio astronomy for more than 60 years, managing observatories, developing new technologies and revealing the structure of the Universe, all areas of expertise that are feeding into SKA science and development. We were instrumental in Australia’s bid to host the SKA and have been contributing to the SKA project since its conception.

The international SKA Observatory governs the SKA project and aims to construct two radio telescopes forming the world’s largest radio observatory. SKA-Mid will be constructed in South Africa and SKA-Low will be built in Australia.

Our current contributions to the SKA project include:

  • Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, our Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory will host the SKA-Low telescope.
  • We are helping build the SKA-Low telescope and our teams are involved in SKA technology and infrastructure development.
  • We are the SKAO’s operations partner for the SKA-Low telescope.
  • Our researchers are involved in many areas of SKA science and will use the SKA telescopes once operational.

The international SKA Observatory will construct SKA-Mid and SKA-Low, two radio telescopes that will complement each other scientifically. SKA-Low will be located at our observatory in Western Australia and will consist of an array of 131,072 Christmas tree-shaped antennas. SKA-Mid will be located in South Africa’s Karoo region and will consist of an array of 197 ‘dish’ antennas.

Solar array

The SKA-Low telescope will be located at our observatory on Wajarri Yamaji country, a world-class site for radio astronomy in the Australian outback. The site currently hosts three instruments and construction is well underway for the SKA-Low telescope.

An instrument as large and complex as SKA-Low requires a broad range of innovative technologies to make it work. We both lead and contribute to a number of technology and infrastructure work packages associated with SKA-Low.

Radio telescope image of the sky showing bubble-like wispy structures in orange against a dark background.

CSIRO researchers pioneered radio interferometry, the technique the SKA telescopes use, and have continued to contribute to the advancement of radio astronomy ever since. We have contributed to SKA design and science since conception.