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SQUARE KILOMETER ARRAY PROJECT Status on Action Points - Zambia Background The Square Kilometer Array Telescope (SKA) is widely described as potentially the world's largest scientific instrument. The SKA, whose massive collection of dishes would stretch across nine African countries, is a next-generation telescope that will examine gas clouds in the early universe at 100 times the power of the most powerful existing radio telescope, the Very Large Array in New Mexico (The Post, Thursday June 3, 2010). Space research is expected to yield practical benefits. One payoff can be Africans being able to build distinctive satellite instruments, and thus spawning a globally competitive industry. Better ways to cope with climate change also can come from space research. Farmers, for example, might chose crops and growing patterns based on knowledge from earth observations, mining sector is another good example which can benefit from space technology. Africa, together with Australia, was short-listed in 2006 to host the Square Kilometer Array Telescope (SKA). The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) is a radio telescope in development which will have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometer It will operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size will make it 50 times as sensitive as any other radio instrument. It will require very high performance central computing engines and longhaul links with a very big capacity. It will be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than ever before. With receiving stations extending out to a distance of 3,000 km from a concentrated central core, it will continue radio astronomy's tradition of providing the highest resolution images in all astronomy. A brief outline of historical events pertaining to the African SKA bid is given below (minutes of the 4th African SKA Working Group Meeting, 16 ­ 17th March 2010): a. In 2003, the precursor group to the African Ministers Council of Science & Technology (AMCOST), released a Declaration of Support for the African SKA bid in Johannesburg, RSA. b. In 2005 the SKA bid was included in the AMCOST plan of action. c. The 8th African Union summit in 2007 stressed the importance of the African SKA as a driver for economic development. d. At the 14th AU Summit in 2010 on ICT President Zuma pronounced the impact of the African SKA on ICT development on the continent. e. At the 4th AMCOST meeting in Cairo Egypt in 2010 the African partner country ministers unanimously endorsed their support for the African SKA bid. It is agreed that the African SKA bid be presented at the 15th AU summit. South Africa is leading the African bid. The other participating countries comprise Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Ghana, and Zambia. During a joint South Africa ­ Zambia meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, held from 21 -25 February 2010, a presentation on the SKA Project was made by the Director (Dr Gordon Macleod) of the Radio Astronomy Advances of South Africa. Some of the points/resolutions made after the


presentation included the following (minutes of the Joint Technical Committee on Science and Technology of South Africa and Zambia, 23th February 2010): SKA project had a capacity building programme that included training at MSc and Ph.D levels. Currently there were no Zambian students participating in the SKA bursary programme. National Remote Sensing Centre and MSTVT Planning and Development Department were identified as focal points Department of Science and Technology to facilitate participation by senior officials from Zambia at the upcoming SKA forum in the Netherlands in June, 2010 Department of Science and Technology would also invite Zambia for the upcoming SKA Working Group meeting in March in South Africa. Action Points The follow up meeting was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 16 to 17th March 2010. Zambia was represented by National Remote Sensing Centre (Mr. Lad Kazembe). The main action points arise from the reporting requirements of the International SKA office in South Africa. The series of reports that are required with the due dates is tabulated below: a. Land Acquisition Report (by June 2010) a. Need to know the process to acquire land b. Require recommendation on land acquisition process to be followed. b. Dataset Report (by June 2010) a. current & future power infrastructure b. current & future fibre infrastructure c. current & future transport infrastructure d. current & future plans for high power transmitters c. Environmental Impact Assessment Report (by December 2010) a. Require a proposal on the process to facilitate and expedite such requirements. d. Data Connectivity Report (by June 2011) a. Require a proposal to facilitate the data connection to the nearest fibre cable. b. Also require plans of future growth. e. Import & Export Tariff Exemption Report (by December 2010) a. Require a proposal for the Import/Export tariff constructs on scientific and construction equipment. b. Also require a proposal on the visa process for ease of access for construction personnel and people required to operate in the future to enter each country. f. RF Protection Report (by December 2010) a. Require a proposal for the regulatory protection of SKA sites. b. For this each country will need to know the size of the buffer zone from each town, road, etc. g. Site Accessibility Report (by December 2010) a. Require a proposal that details how to ensure quick and easy access to each site.


Progress on Action Points Having been identified as the main contact institutions to spearhead the SKA Project in Zambia (minutes of the Joint Technical Committee on Science and Technology of South Africa and Zambia, 23th February 2010), the National Remote Sensing has been working on the following activities: 1) Inviting nominations to the site readiness team (or country working group) 2) Preparing a budget for the site readiness activities 3) Preparing a work schedule for the site readiness activities The institutions invited to participate in the SRF are Geomatic Engineering and Physics Departments, University of Zambia; Survey Department, Ministry of Lands; Zambian Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA); and Department of Science and Technology, MSTVT. So far the nominations that have been received are as follows:

Institution National Remote Sensing Centre National Remote Sensing Centre National Remote Sensing Centre Geomatic Department, UNZA Physics Department, UNZA Survey Department, Ministry of Lands Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority Planning and Development, MSTVT Name of participant Dr. A. Mulolwa Mr. S. Maango Mr. L.M. Kazembe Dr. P. Nsombo Dr. H.D. Mweene Mr. M. Mooka Awaiting nomination Mr. B.S. Kaluba Role Member Member Secretary Member Member Member Member Member

The activities required to compile the seven country readiness reports including all the preparatory works comprise: 1) Meetings to discuss inputs and outputs of the various country readiness reports 2) Data analysis including data collection and GIS analysis to identify potential sites 3) Site investigation involving site visits and local discussions with stakeholders 4) Compilation of the country readiness reports It should be noted though that the National Remote Sensing Centre does not have a budget line for this in this 2010 budget and has presented a budget and schedule of activities to the Ministry to facilitate moving this process forward. As soon as this facilitation is made available, the Centre will start the process leading to the compilation of the country readiness reports.




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