RIA Meeting: Physics opportunities with a new universe’s view: the SKA radio telescope

Salon Actos (Universe)

Salon Actos


The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be a multi-purpose radio-interferometer with a collecting area of 1 square kilometre, distributed over a distance of at least 3000 km, co-located in Africa and Australia. Qualified as landmark project in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and high-priority in the ASTRONET roadmaps, SKA is a unique science instrument, with up to 10 times more sensitivity, and hundred times faster survey capabilities than current radio- interferometers, that will provide leading edge science in the 21st century involving multiple science disciplines. The physics cases of this future multidisciplinary powerful telescope include Cosmology and Large Scale Structure, Epoch of Reionization (EoR), Galaxy evolution, Milky Way physics, Cosmic magnetism, Stellar Astrophysics and the Cradle of Life. The high commitment from the Spanish community to SKA is clearly shown in the “Spanish SKA White Book”, published in 2015, which counted with the participation of 120 Spanish astronomers from 40 research centres. Nowadays 24 Spanish astrophysicists are members of 9 out of the 11 SKA Science Working Groups and more than 20 Spanish institutions and companies contribute to 7 out of 11 international SKA design consortia. A representative of MINECO is regularly invited to the SKA Board meetings since 2014. In 2016 a report was produced for the Evaluation of the participation of Spain in the SKA by the Secretary of State with a positive outcome. This has been followed by open and fluent negotiations with the SKA Organization, to find out the best way to join SKA as Full Member. A call for Key Science Projects (KSP) will be issued by 2019. These KSPs will be using 50-75% of observation time during the first 5 years of SKA activity. Hence it is crucial that the Spanish scientific community actively participates in the preparation of proposals for KSPs by exploiting the fruitful synergies between SKA and its precursors (MeerKAT, ASKAP, MWA and HERA) and ongoing and future national and international astrophysical and cosmological observatories (E-ELT, ALMA, Chandra, MAGIC, CTA) and surveys (CALIFA, JPAS). The major goal of this meeting is to maximize the interplay between the SKA Science and the Particle, Astroparticle, Planetary Sciences, Astrobiology and the Cosmology communities, going beyond radioastronomers and even astronomers.