The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a next-generation radio astronomy-driven Big Data facility that will revolutionise our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics.
It will tackle some of the most fundamental scientifc questions of our time, ranging from the birth of the Universe to the origins of life. As a leading research infrastructure (RI), SKA will consist of the Global Headquarters in the UK, the two SKA telescopes at radio-quiet sites in South Africa and Australia, and the associated data processing facilities. Enabled by cutting-edge technology, it promises to have a major impact on society, in science and beyond.
SKA will be built, operated and maintained by SKAO (SKA Observatory), an inter-governmental organisation (IGO) being established to bring together nations from five continents under a single entity. Only through this combined capacity in resources, knowledge, and experience (industrial, technical, scientific and at policy level) will the SKA be realized. In the first half of 2021, SKAO was launched following its first Council meeting.
China started to take part in the pre-construction phase of SKA in September 2012. Following multiple years of negotiations, China signed the Convention Establishing the Square Kilometre Array Observatory with six other countries in Rome in March 2019. In April 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress ratified the Convention. In June 2021, China became a full member of the SKAO Council, overseeing the governance, construction, operation and R&D of the Observatory. In August 2021, a meeting was held to review China’s involvement in the project in the past decade and published a white paper detailing the guiding principle and policy measures to organise and coordinate SKA China community to take part in SKAO, marking the start of a new phase.
Hosting SKA China Office, National Remote Sensing Centre of China is responsible for managing the National SKA Program of China to perform China’s commitment to the Convention, taking part in the governance of the Observatory, delivering the contributions and organising and coordinating SKA related research and development activities.