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Networking the Square Kilometre Array

Richard Hughes-Jones
TrackTrack 2 Nordia Room
DescriptionThe Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world with a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area, and probably it will be will be the largest scientific instrument on Earth.
The presentation will introduce the two SKA Telescopes, one in South Africa the other in Western Australia which are designed to receive signals from different frequency ranges of the radio spectrum. It will touch on the key science that will be investigated, from Probing the Cosmic Dawn, to tests of General Relativity, to the Cradle of Life.
The talk will give some idea of the very large data rates required to move the data from the science observations through the processing chain.  In this context it will cover the work being done by the SaDT consortium to design the architecture, and choice of proposed equipment and protocols for the separate networks within the telescopes comprising the astronomical data network, the synchronisation and timing network, and the non-science data network.  
In addition to describing the networking within the telescopes, the presentation will discuss the work being done by SaDT, GÉANT and other academic network providers to satisfy the requirements to move the astronomical data products to the user community distributed around the world. Based on some scientific use-cases, SaDT and the SDP consortium estimate that Petabytes of data will need to be moved to the different world regions. Current calculations suggest that 100 gigabit links will be needed from the two observatories sometime between 2020 and 2022.

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