mobile | classic
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology Magazine





Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn


Search...

Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2017


 

Ghana repurposes communications antenna for astronomy
16 August 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, News

Ghana has become the first partner country of the African Very Long Baseline Interferometer (VLBI) Network to complete the conversion of a communications antenna into a functioning radio telescope.

The 32 metre converted telecommunications antenna at the Ghana Intelsat Satellite Earth Station at Kutunse will be integrated into the African VLBI Network (AVN) in preparation for the second phase construction of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) across the African continent.

The combination ‘first light’ science observations included methanol maser detections, VLBI fringe testing and pulsar observations. Reaching these three objectives confirm that the instrument can operate as a single dish radio telescope and also as part of global VLBI network observations, such as the European VLBI network. Following the initial ‘first light’ observations, the research teams from Ghana and South Africa, together with other international research partners, continue to do more observations and are analysing the data generated with the aim to characterise the system and improve its accuracy for future experiments.

The 32 metre converted Ghana radio telescope in Kutunse, Accra.
The 32 metre converted Ghana radio telescope in Kutunse, Accra.

“The Ghanaian government warmly embraces the prospect of radio astronomy in the country and our radio astronomy development plan forms part of the broader Ghana Science, Technology and Innovation Development Plan,” says Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Ghana Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI).

As an SKA Africa partner country, Ghana welcomed and collaborated with the SKA South Africa/HartRAO (Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory) group to harness the radio astronomy potential of the redundant satellite communication antenna at Kutunse. A team of scientists and engineers from SKA SA/HartRAO and the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) which is under MESTI, has been working since 2011 on the astronomy instrument upgrade to make it radio-astronomy ready. In 2012, Ghana launched the GSSTI as the vehicle through which to grow its astrophysics programme.

The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has been funding a large part of the conversion project through the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund (ARF). The South African Minister of DIRCO, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says, “The African Renaissance Fund is aimed at strengthening cooperation between South Africa and other African countries and to support the development of skills and build institutional capacity on the continent.” Nine African partner countries are members of the SKA AVN, including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

“A vital part of the effort towards building SKA on the African continent over the next decade is to develop the skills, regulations and institutional capacity needed in SKA partner countries to optimise African participation in the SKA,” says the South African minister of science and technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor.

The AVN programme is aimed at transferring skills and knowledge in African partner countries to build, maintain, operate and use radio telescopes. Minister Pandor continued by saying: “It will bring new science opportunities to Africa on a relatively short time scale and develop radio astronomy science communities in SKA partner countries.”

The Leverhulme-Royal Society Trust and Newton Fund in the UK are co-funding extensive human capital development programmes in the SKA AVN partner countries. A seven-member Ghanaian team has undergone training in South Africa in all aspects of the project including the operation of the telescope. Several PhD students and one MSc student from Ghana have received SKA SA bursaries to pursue further education in various fields of astronomy and engineering while the Royal Society has awarded funding in collaboration with Leeds University to train two PhDs and 60 young aspiring scientists in the field of astrophysics.

Based on the success of the Leverhulme-Royal Society programme, a joint UK-South Africa Newton Fund intervention (the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA)) has since been initiated in other partner countries to grow high technology skills that could lead to broader economic development in Africa. This Newton Fund programme is providing a pool of talented young people who have been inspired by astronomy to ultimately play a leading role in the emergence of new economies.

A Ministerial Forum comprising Ministers from the nine SKA AVN partner countries convenes on an annual basis to provide strategic and political leadership on the cooperation with the SKA and AVN projects, and on other relevant radio astronomy programmes and initiatives. The next SKA AVN Ministerial Forum will be held in Accra, Ghana in August when the Kutunse radio telescope will officially be launched.

For more information visit www.ska.ac.za


  Follow us on Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn    

Further reading:

  • Eskom Expo rewards young scientists
    15 November 2017, News
    The Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF) 2017 recognised some of the exceptional projects on display at an awards ceremony held at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Johannesburg.
  • Technology enablers towards connected and autonomous driving
    15 November 2017, Concilium Technologies, News
    The connected car is already here in many ways with advanced telematics becoming more and more available on a wide range of vehicles, ADAS and V2X almost a reality.
  • What are my IoT data transport options?
    15 November 2017, Otto Wireless, This Week's Editor's Pick, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless
    There are three main factors to consider when deploying a wireless IoT sensor or controller: power, range (network coverage) and speed.
  • Addressing safety concerns with Li-ion batteries
    15 November 2017, Uniross Batteries, This Week's Editor's Pick, Power Electronics / Power Management
    Lithium-ion is safe but with millions of consumers using batteries, failures are bound to happen.
  • Production cycle of a sealed lead-acid battery
    15 November 2017, Forbatt SA, This Week's Editor's Pick, Power Electronics / Power Management
    It’s easy when commissioning or simply plugging a battery into the device it is destined for, to overlook all the steps that went into its production. Often the minerals that are used in making a battery ...
  • It’s not about the board
    15 November 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Computer/Embedded Technology, Design Automation
    It might sound controversial, but choosing the best board for a project shouldn’t start with a comparison of different boards and appraising the features and benefits. With such a wealth of development ...
  • Arrow Altech appoints new sales GM
    11 October 2017, Arrow Altech Distribution (AAD), News
    Renato Martins has worked in the electronics industry since 1994, earning valuable work experience through various positions at BMS, Logitech SA and Mimic SA before joining AAD.
  • From the chairman’s desk: Q3 in South Africa
    11 October 2017, AREI, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
    Warren Muir, chairman of AREI, provides an update on how the local electronics sector is doing, and some of the Association’s latest happenings.
  • Enabling intelligent energy supply via the smart grid
    11 October 2017, EBV Electrolink, This Week's Editor's Pick, Power Electronics / Power Management
    As the worldwide energy supply model is experiencing a trend towards decentralised supply concepts, smart grids allow the challenges of climate change and liberalised electricity markets to be met.
  • The importance of test structures for multilayer PCBs
    11 October 2017, EDA Technologies, This Week's Editor's Pick, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    As the number of layers in multilayer PCBs grow and the size of features become smaller and denser, the opportunities for a PCB to be built incorrectly grows exponentially. Traditional bare board PCB ...
  • Laser soldering for ultrafine parts or high density mounting
    11 October 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    Laser soldering is currently gaining attention as a new soldering method. However, as this is a new industrial technique compared to iron tip soldering, the heating principles differ, and it cannot simply ...
  • Selecting test instrumentation for battery temperature profiling
    11 October 2017, Concilium Technologies, This Week's Editor's Pick, Test & Measurement
    Charge and discharge currents increase the temperature of batteries and temperature directly affects their lifespan and storage capacity. Batteries tend to be efficient and provide a normal life span ...

 
 
         
Contact:
Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Other
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual





 

         
    Classic | Mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.