17/09/2009 - 10:39

WA SKA bid boosted by IBM deal

17/09/2009 - 10:39

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Western Australia's bid to host the $2.5 billion Square Kilometres Array project has been given a further boost, with IBM agreeing to develop an IT system to process and store radio astronomical data produced by the project.

Western Australia's bid to host the $2.5 billion Square Kilometres Array project has been given a further boost, with IBM agreeing to develop an IT system to process and store radio astronomical data produced by the project.

 

The announcement is below:

 

 

Western Australia's International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) will partner with IBM Australia and New Zealand in a move boosting the State's capacity to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and Australia's SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescopes.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) announced today, ICRAR and IBM have agreed to research and develop IT systems for the transfer, management, processing and storage of the vast amount of radio astronomical data likely to be produced by the SKA.

Commerce Minister Troy Buswell said the MOU was a significant advance for the SKA, and the innovation and technology developed from it would enhance WA's reputation as a hub of radio astronomy expertise.

"Once operational, the SKA will produce more data than any other research project in the world," Mr Buswell said.

"In its first hour alone, the SKA will generate more information than that currently held in the entire World Wide Web.

"This information, along with the material captured by ASKAP, will be some of the most valuable radio astronomy information ever collected and help us understand how the universe came to exist and evolve to its current state."

Premier's research fellow and ICRAR director Professor Peter Quinn said ICRAR and IBM's collaboration would create conceptual designs for a SKA science computing system.

"IBM is a world-leader in technology development and its knowledge and expertise will help ICRAR research and develop tools to stream the colossal amounts of data at the speed the SKA demands," Professor Quinn said.

"This partnership merges science with industry and will help Australia and New Zealand's bid to host the SKA project in the State's Mid-West."

ICRAR is an equal joint venture between Curtin University of Technology and The University of Western Australia. The State Government has committed $20million towards the centre's establishment.

Australia/New Zealand and Southern Africa are in the running to host the SKA, a global initiative to design and build a radio telescope that will be up to 50 times more sensitive than current technologies. A decision on the location of the array is expected in mid-2012.

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