The SKA telescopes will look at the history of the Universe as far back as the Cosmic Dawn, when the very first stars and galaxies formed. These key facilities will help Swiss scientists discover answers to the burning questions throughout several key topics in the field of astrophysics, including: dark energy, cosmic reionization, dark matter, galaxy evolution, cosmic magnetic fields, tests of gravity, solar physics, and others.
During its operation, the SKAO will collect unprecedented amounts of data, requiring the world's fastest supercomputers to process this data in near real time. Swiss data scientists are working on complex Big Data algorithms enhanced by High-Performance Computing and machine learning techniques to handle these large data streams.
Computing Platforms and Infrastructure
A network of SKA Regional Centres (SRCs) located in SKAO partner countries, such as Switzerland, will transform these data outputs into science products for distribution around the world. The Swiss SRC will be the final interface with the end users nationally- the Swiss scientists - who will turn these science products into information, and finally knowledge.
SKA MID operates on several frequency bands, normally requiring one receiver for each of the six bands, with MID band 6 being the highest and most challenging frequency. The SKACH instrumentation program works on an innovative, software-based receiver, able to receive the MID band 6 frequency. In addition, the receiver’s architecture potentially allows it to operate on the lower bands with minimal adaptation. Partnerships with industry and using the technologies developed in other scientific/technical fields are key goals of the program.
Education and Public Outreach
The SKACH Education and Public Outreach program conducts public events, develops outreach material, and communicates SKAO and SKACH milestones to the press.