Organised by Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, UN Secretary General’s Ban-Ki Moon’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia; Former Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis & Malaria. Co-organised by: Aidan Gilligan, Founder, CEO SciCom - Making Sense of Science; Member of the Governing Board of Euroscience.
Physics & Astronomy - AAAS 2015
Sunday, 15 February 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room LL21B (San Jose Convention Center)
Astronomy is big business and just got bigger. This session tells the story of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world’s largest, most powerful radio telescope extending over 2,000 miles. Co-located in 8 Sub-Saharan states with a core in South Africa and Australia, where the view of the Milky Way is best and radio interference the least, its image resolution will be 50 times that of the Hubble Space Telescope. Technology developments in antennas, fibre networks, signal processing, and software and computing place us within reach of surveying the sky thousands of times faster than ever before. But this requires high-performance computing and long-haul links with 10 times greater capacity than current global Internet traffic.
Data collected by the SKA in one single day would take 2 million years to playback on an iPod. This talk provides a timely update of the Southern Hemisphere’s flagship scientific instrument. It showcases the breakthroughs of more than 70 institutes in 20 countries, plus their industry partners such as Intel, IBM, Coriant, Google, Microsoft and Cisco. Above all, it spotlights how the telescope’s design, construction and operation are having a tremendous global impact on skills development in science, engineering and associated industries. Shared with astronomers worldwide, this initial work is pushing radio astronomy to new heights as we ask fundamental questions about our Universe.
Session Format: Traditional lecture but highly interactive
Session Duration: 90-Minute Symposia
Target Audience: Scientists, General Public, Policy-Makers
Category: Physics & Astronomy, Information Technology & Computing, Engineering, Industry & Technology
Sections: Astronomy; Industrial Science & Technology; Information, Computing & Communication
Keywords: Astronomy, Big Data & Data Analysis, Imaging; High-Performance Computing; Scientific Instrumentation
Relevance to the Theme or Special Relevance to the Audience:
This session will capture the imagination and passion of all delegates interested in the formation of our solar systems, the evolution of our universe, the nature of gravity or the possibility of life beyond Earth. In line with the 2014 theme, there is arguably no greater Big-Data global initiative in the civil domain. Alongside advances in global infrastructure and instrumentation science, SKA has the potential to revolutionise how we process, transfer, store and analyse information. The proposed session is also extremely timely now that the preparation phase and infrastructure work have just begun and that early scientific results of precursor telescopes to the SKA are becoming available.
Organisers have been very attentive to creating a balanced panel in terms of gender, geographic balance and minorities. In particular, senior female executives with proven track records in the fields of astronomy, high-performance computing and business development are involved.
SESSION PRESENTATION DOWNLOADS: CLICK HERE
|Organiser: Daan du Toit (SA),
|Co-Organiser: William Garnier (UK),
|Co-Organiser: Aidan Gilligan (IRL),
|Moderator: Clive Cookson (UK) (tbc),
|Discussant: Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor (SA),
|Discussant: Prof. John Womersley (UK),
Presentation Title: Glimpsing the Very First Stars, Investigating Gravity & Probing Life Beyond Earth
Professor Philip Diamond (UK),
My talk will set the scene for the session in presenting an A-Z overview of how the Square Kilometre Array’s ambitious pre-construction phase is progressing at a scientific and technical level. I will give both an astronomer and chief executive’s birds-eye view of the importance of stewarding strategic relationships with national agencies, partners, governments, industry and other private sector entities, along with all other project stakeholders. In particular, I will paint a picture for delegates of what a SKA future might look like and what we hope to achieve from glimpsing the formation and evolution of the very first stars and galaxies after the Big Bang, investigating the nature of gravity, and possibly even discovering life beyond Earth.
Presentation Title: Astronomy for Technological Capacity Building Across Science
Dr. Bernard Fanaroff (SA),
My talk aims to look behind the scenes at the nuts and bolts of the world’s largest technology-rich and knowledge-intensive engineering programme to-date in radio astronomy: Square Kilometre Array. From technology development in antennas and fibre networks, to signal processing and software and computing, with countless spinoffs across the sciences, I will spotlight the significant challenges being overcome and opportunities being grasped by associated international teams. As a pertinent case-study, I will equally explore progress being made towards the completion of the Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network (AVN) of radio telescopes across Africa. Beyond the core missions of these ground-breaking initiatives, I will stress their critical practical and psychological role in building Africa's scientific and technical capacities to engage with the knowledge economy, especially big data.
Presentation Title: The Big Data Revolution Tipping Point: the Importance of SKA
Advances in data generation and analysis are changing the ways we discover answers to our scientific and societal problems. We are experiencing an unprecedented era of hyper-growth driven by concurrent demand for mobile, video and cloud-based services and applications. For example, mobile data volumes are up 8000% from 2008 – 2011, while global cloud traffic is expected to grow to 4.3 zetabites by 2016 and U.S. Internet video consumption twelve-fold by 2020. The SKA central computer will have the processing power of about one hundred million PCs and will generate enough raw data to fill 15 million 64GB iPods every day. The stresses of this increased data growth, unpredictable traffic patterns, elastic compute/storage connectivity, and heightened end-user expectations for uninterrupted broadband service quality, make it impossible for traditional multi-layer (IP, Ethernet, Optical) transport architectures and conventional service deployment models to cope, let alone harness the opportunities that hyper-growth represents. My talk will closely examine how service providers around the world propose to cope with this big data challenge. To do so, we must fully recognize and support the growing importance of this new SKA generation of public-private partnerships in frontier science driving hi-tech innovation with emerging economies.
Presentation Title: Exploring the Southern Sky with the Australian SKA Pathfinder
Dr Naomi McClure-Griffiths (AU),
The Southern Sky provides the best views of our own Galaxy and the galaxies closest us. In Australia the SKA has been a catalyst for major developments in radio astronomy infrastructure and technology. The ASKAP telescope is already producing technological and scientific firsts utilizing its revolutionary very wide-field, fast survey receiver technology. Australia is part of a global collaboration grappling with the challenges of making the most of the data torrent promised by the SKA.
Presentation Title: Riding the Radio Astronomy Carrier Wave: How Things Look From the USA
Dr. Anthony J. Beasley (US),
This presentation will review how the US astronomy community has recently initiated science operations with powerful new instrument capabilities in the radio/submillimeter. The status and prospects for US radio astronomy at mid-decade will be described. The science/facility opportunities envisioned for the future (including the SKA) will be discussed and an overview given of the technologies and emerging opportunities for collaboration with the international community.