SKANZ 2010 conference
SKANZ 2010 was a very successful series of events hosted by AUT University from 15 – 18 February this year and sponsored by AUT, CSIRO and ICRAR. They included a three day Conference: “Pathways to SKA Science in Australasia” and a one day Workshop: “VLBI and GNSS: NZ and Australian perspectives”. SKANZ2010 attracted 110 participants (many leading scientists) from 15 countries and representing 56 institutions. In total there were 55 oral presentations.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a NZ$4 billion next generation radio telescope, often called an IT radio telescope as it will require massive software development, a Terabit connectivity and an Exascale computing. SKA is planned to probe the Universe at a level of sensitivity orders of magnitude beyond what has previously been achieved. SKANZ2010 was an ideal opportunity to publicise SKA-related developments within Australia and New Zealand and closely followed the Government’s signing of the Australia – New Zealand SKA Cooperation Agreement, and the commissioning of our 12m antenna near Warkworth.
Several positive spin-offs resulted from the events. Apart from the updates in international SKA developments, the spotlight was on progress in Australia and New Zealand and the benefits, both science and engineering, especially for New Zealand. As a result of the Workshop, a special Task Force is being set up to investigate possible SKA applications for Earth sciences.