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IJI's Role in the Square Kilometre Array Observatory Project

How IJI Scientists & Professionals Aided in the Development of the World's Most Sensitive Space Telescope

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory is of immense global consequence, with a mission to build and operate cutting edge radio telescopes that will transform our understanding of the universe.

They are doing this by building an unprecedented number of receivers across multiple continents. The SKA is designed to observe radio emissions such as those radiating from neutral Hydrogen. Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe, spanning our planetary neighbours all the way out to the very early beginnings of our universe but is invisible at optical wavelengths. Studying its radio emissions will add to the body of research and enable transformational science.

In July 2018, the working relationship between IJI and the SKA Observatory was born. This originally took the form of Implementing SAFSPC training sessions for 25 people among them technical engineers, software developers, scientists, project managers and lay members of the then-existing consortia.

The IJI team has continued to add value throughout the 4 years (and counting) of the engagement.

Construction of the SKA telescopes started in 2021 and the telescopes will be fully available by the end of the decade, with an operational lifetime of 50 years or more. With the huge volumes of data to be collected and processed it is fair to say that this is more a computing problem than a hardware problem – this is more an IT project than a traditional bricks and mortar one.

Needless to say, IJI and our partner, Scaled Agile are extremely pleased to have played a crucial role in ensuring that the leaders, engineers and developers of this project are working effectively, collaboratively, and in tandem with one another. The use of the Scaled Agile Framework combined with IJI’s industry-leading expertise in training and consultancy have meant that we are proud to stake our flag in some aspects of this momentous project.

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