South Africa plans to build the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT) very near the
proposed site for the core of the SKA. The KAT will be located in a radio quiet
reserve within the Karoo region of South Africa. Its sparse population and dry
climate make it an ideal site for a radio telescope. It is intended that the site
will be proclaimed as a radio quiet reserve. A high-speed fibre-optic link will
connect the KAT to the Centre for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) in
The KAT will be a so-called "demonstrator" of SKA technology, and will also
prove South Africa’s commitment, capacity and technological readiness to host
the SKA. At about 1% to 2% of the survey capacity of the SKA, the KAT will be
a world-class research instrument in its own right. The KAT is scheduled to be
completed by 2009.
A KAT prototype, including the electronics and dish design, will be built at the
Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory by the end of 2007. The KAT
team has agreed on technical collaboration with teams in Australia, the UK, the
Netherlands and the USA.The technical collaboration will result in a reduction
in cost and risks for the KAT. A joint science case for the KAT has been
discussed with all these collaborators.
SALT and KAT will collaborate in complementary observations and will form a
formidable and powerful astronomical tool.
In addition to the scientific and technological collaboration already established
for the KAT, South Africa’s National Research Foundation is seeking more
Visit the official KAT website at www.kat.ac.za.