Development of the first two prototype CASPER/ROACH boards. Designed by MeerKAT DSP team in cooperation with UCB, laid out at NRAO, being debugged at MeerKAT office. Looks good so far.
Zoomed region of interest shows the KAT-7 (Red contours) with SUMSS (green) This is the highest redshift relic detected using SZ effect from the ACT The low frequency image from SUMSS shows possible relics which has then been confined using ATCA observation (priv comm) Our aim was to see if we to do detect diffuse emission from the source using KAT-7 - YES Check for polarised emission - On-going Derive radio luminosity at 1.4GHz and other parameters - on going. SUMSS with a better resolution has resolved this source whereas KAT-7 provides modest resolution of around 3' allowing us to detect the diffuse feature. However, the source is blended with a component in the NW part. The South-East Component detected from KAT-7 has no strong detection from SUMSS. Polarimetric observation using mosaic has been done and is being reduced - this will go about 1/3 times deeper than the total intensity. Magnetic understanding in cluster is still not well understood. With KAT-7 we expected to get an understanding of the large scale magnetic property of this relic source. KAT-7 is an ideal instrument for detecting large scale diffuse emission, that is provided by our short spacings. To get a global picture of the environment of clusters of galaxies for example, we don't want to resolve all the structures.
Radio astronomy in AfricaUSA June 2013
Africa–next great economic growth story• Rapid growth – value-added industries,not only resource extraction – alreadylarge – see McKinsey and others• Huge infrastructure programme planned– Funding not a problem– Greatest constraint is scientific, engineering,ICT, commercial etc. skills and capacity toplan, design, build, operate and maintain• Skills and competency for competitiveness• ICT underpins everything
Africa and Big Science• Building the world’s largest scienceinfrastructure in Africa – the Square KilometreArray Radio Telescope• A breakthrough for Africa - how we perceiveourselves and how others perceive us• African scientists to do big science, fundamentalscience and high-tech – Nobel Prizes fromAfrica, by Africans• Exciting projects to attract young people intoscience and technology and keep them in Africa
Humans, abstract thought and technologyfirst in Africa4
Why the SKA?• Multi-wavelength astronomy• Science case– Galaxy evolution, cosmology and dark energy– Strong field tests of general relativity using pulsarsand black holes– Origin and evolution of cosmic magnetism– Probing the Dark Ages –how were the first stars andblack holes formed?– Detect very weak extra-terrestrial signals and willsearch for complex molecules, the building blocks oflife, in space• And serendipitous discoveries!
SKA DishesDishes to cover the frequency range 500 MHz to 10 GHz
SKA DishesDishes to cover the frequency range 500 MHz to 10 GHzPhase 1: 250 Dishes (do science early), 200km baselinesPhase 2: +-3000 Dishes, up to 3000km baselines
SKA Dense Aperture ArraysArray of "tiles" to cover the medium frequency range from 200 to 500 MHz3 x 3 m tiles will be grouped into circular stations, 60 m in diameter
SKA Dense Aperture ArraysArray of "tiles" to cover the medium frequency range from 200 to 500 MHz3 x 3 m tiles will be grouped into circular stations, 60 m in diameter
SKA Sparse Aperture ArraysArray of simple dipole antennas to cover frequency range from 70 – 200 MHzGrouped in 100m diameter stations each containing about 90 elements
SKA Cost• Acquisition cost (capex and NRE)– I expect SKA1 about €400m - decision onPhase 1 cost cap in July– I expect about €4 billion total acquisition cost– Operations and maintenance over ~50 years~ €~3-400 million per year• Costs to be covered by members of theSKA Organisation• Other contributions possible – EU?
SKA Organisation• Ten countries – UK, Canada, Germany,Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, China, SouthAfrica, Australia, New Zealand• India joining• Three intend to join – Japan, South Korea,France. Attend SKA Board as guests• USA after 2020 (Decadal Review ofAstronomy)? Attends SKA Board as guest• Membership currently €250 000 per year
SKA site decision timeline• Discussions started early 1990s• Expressions of interest 2003• Proposals December 2005• Short list September 2006• Site testing and planning• Submit proposals (we sent 27000 pagesof supporting documents) September2011• Recommendation for Africa February2012
Proposed SKA construction timeline• 2013 – 2016 Pre-construction, detailed design• 2014 – 2016 Members seek SKA1 funding, followingestablishment of cost-cap (July 2013) and confirmation ofSKA1 scope.• 2016/17 Establishment of new governancearrangements for the SKA Organisation• 2017 Tender for and procure construction of SKA1• 2017 – 2020 Detailed design of SKA2• 2018 – 2021 Construction of SKA1• 2020 Early science with some components of SKA1• 2019 – 2021 Seek SKA2 construction funding• 2022 – 2027 Construction of SKA2
SKA pre-construction phase• 2013-2016• Work packages to develop requirements,concept and detailed design for all SKA sub-systems• RfP – essentially one international consortiumhas bid per work package• Paid for as in-kind contributions by members• RSA leads two WPs and participates in almostall others• CISCO providing excellent support to SKA SAfor work package on signal transport
The SKA is an Opportunity• What we make of it depends on what we put intoit – nothing is given to us on a plate– Science – Nobel Prizes for Africa?– Stimulating interest in science and engineering– Human capital development and skills - critical massof young engineers and scientists with expertise innext-generation technologies (e.g. Big Data; digitalsignal processing; HPC; control etc.) and science– Reverse brain drain– Strengthen universities– Jobs in construction, operations and maintenance– Industry involvement– Spin-offs
Example - Big Data• Technologies for SKA are innovative• Big Data creating entirely new industries which willbe very dominant in the global economy – millionsor billions of sensors sending streams of data;huge data sets requiring ultra-fast computing,analysis and visualisation, storage.• SKA >100 x the data traffic of the world-wide web.– An exabyte of data per day – 1018bytes– Exaflop computing speeds – current best is somepetaflops. Equivalent would be ~ 108laptops• Use SKA to get young people into Big Data,wireless, signal processing etc. so that Africa canplay a world-leading role in these new industries.
AERAPStrasbourg 14 March – The EuropeanParliament has called for greatercollaboration with Africa in the field ofradio astronomy, following its adoptionof Written Declaration 45 on sciencecapacity building in Africa. Highlightingthe value of research infrastructures inpromoting human capitaldevelopment, addressing societalchallenges and facilitating inter-regional cooperation, the declarationdraws attention to Africa’s exceptionalcompetitive advantages in the study ofradio astronomy, reflected in thecontinent’s extensive array of cuttingedge astronomy projects.31
AERAP• European Parliament Written Declarationto support Radio Astronomy in Africa• EP established the Africa-Europe RadioAstronomy Platform to mobilize fundingand collaboration• Working with the European Parliamentand Commission and with European andAfrican astronomers on projects• Possible major new funding instruments
Collaboration• Mutual benefit agreements– DOME – IBM Europe, ASTRON (Netherlands), SKASA: various aspects of high performance computing– SKA SA and IBM USA – machine learning– Intel and SKA SA: pushing next generation chips– CISCO and NMMU• CASPER collaboration• Many universities and institutes• CBASS• PAPER
Protected Karoo Site• 14 000 ha bought• Protected by Astronomy GeographicAdvantage Act• Access roads, 33kV specially designedpowerline (no sparking), 10Gb/s opticalfibre, buildings etc. built for Kat 7• Roads, airstrip, buildings, sub-stationupgrade for MeerKAT
SKA Site and the Central AstronomyAdvantage Area
Astronomy Geographical Advantage Act• Empowers the Minister for Science andTechnology to declare protected areasaround strategic astronomy sites byregulation• Covers both radio and optical astronomy• The Act establishes an AGA ManagementAuthority to regulate and enforce• Three tiers of protected areas:• Core area – the physical area of theobservatory / instrument• Central area – surrounds the core area.Minister prohibits certain activities /categories of activities in this area• Coordination area –Minister sets standardswhich activities must comply with• Protected areas apply to existing and newactivities• The Act prevails over existing ElectronicCommunications Act, where protection ofradio astronomy is concerned
MeerKAT• 64 x 13.5m offset Gregorian dishes• Ae/Tsys = 311 m2/K at L-band• Most powerful telescope in the SouthernHemisphere and one of most powerful inthe world• Construction completed 2016• Early science (shared risk) 2016• 25% of SKA1 dish array
Receiver frequency bands– 0.58 - 1.015 GHz–0.9 - 1.67 GHz–(8 - 14.5 GHz) if funded
41Array Configuration• Distribution of collecting area:– 70% within a dense core with < 1km diameterwith baselines down to 29 m• Extended low surface brightness emission• Radio transients– 30% randomly scattered out to 8 km• High dynamic range imaging• Short exposure imaging• Rotation and bandwidth synthesis imaging– Longer baselines using SKA1 dishes?
MeerKAT L-Band Receiver• 0.9 to 1.67 GHz• Without adding cost MeerKAT sensitivity hasbeen improved from 220 m2/K to 311-320 m2/K• Mechanical challenges• Size and Weight• Maintaining Vacuum• Heat Transfer• Cost Effective Manufacturing• Design for Manufacture• Design for Assembly• Design for testing• Services• Vacuum pump• Compressor• EM and RF performance are primary designdrivers
KAT-7 Beamformer has been deployed to site.First light pulse profiles have been obtained.Validation of frequency domain beamforming techniquecurrently being performed.KAT-7 Science – Pulsar Timing
●Transient Detection●Installation of ARTEMIS transient detector during Q3 incollaboration with TRAPPUM science team (PI:Stappers, Kramer).●Contributions from JPL TARDIS program is alsoexpected on these timescales (Lazio)●Key demonstration of commensal observingcapabilities of KAT-7 (and MeerKAT) when doingcontinuum observations..●VLBI●Formal participation in a VLBI session with EVNinvolving KAT-7 and HartRAO.●Regular eVLBI sessions planned by end of year.KAT-7 Science – Transients
●Energy Efficiency●Power budget in Karoo is critically limited.●Heterogenous hardware, coupled with energy aware scheduler,allows dynamic run time choices to be made to optimiseoperational cost – green scheduling: looks at profile of tasks andpower costs.●Novel configurations such as dense arrays of ultra lower powerdevices being investigated.●Innovative Storage●MeerKAT requires 10+ PB of storage with extremely high ingestrates and multiple tiers of differing redundancy and latencyrequirement: different to standard industry requirement of multiplesmall transactions (IOPs); we stream very high volume of datawith different levels of protection.●Scale up to 100+ PB in a few years.●Industry systems too expensive – too many featuresMeerKAT – Science Processor
●Heteregenous Hardware●Science Processor will not be monolithic. Multiple nodetypes with differing IO, Cores, Accelerators, RAM etc.●Various pipeline phases optimised for specifichardware and specific science.●Software Virtualisation●Active use of technologies such as LLVM to provideseamless reuse of a single codebase across multipletarget architectures: write in high-level language butstill target wide range of devices and optimize run time.●Allows use of high level language (Python) even in anextreme performance environment. Reduces codedevelopment and still optimize run times.MeerKAT – Science Processor
The Data ChallengeMeerKAT SKA Phase 1 SKA Phase 2*Into Correlator 2 Tbps 50 Tbps up to 5 PbpsInto ScienceProcessor0.4 Tbps 20 Tbps up to 500 TbpsInto Archive 35 Gbps 300+ Gbps up to 2 TbpsCompute load 200 TFlops 30+ PFlops 3+ EFlops…IncomingData fromcollectorsSwitchSwitchCorrelatorBeamformerScienceProcessorScienceArchive* SKA Phase 2 data rates are still fairly speculative
●Public – private partnership between IBM andASTRON based at the Zurich Research Labs.●SKA SA joined as partner through 4-wayagreement including IBM Europe, IBM SA,ASTRON and the NRF.●Primary driver is research into exascalecomputing, with a particular focus on three areas:●Green computing●Nano-photonics●Data & Streaming●Research outputs expected to be highly relevantto the SKAIBM – DOME
●SKA SA is partnering on three work packages:●Algorithms & Machines – building a mathematicalframework to describe next generation algorithmsand map these to specific hardware needs.●Microservers – leveraging dense packagingtechniques (e.g. 3D stacking) and ultra low powerSoC devices to produce systems with exceptionperformance per Watt. A ruggedised versionsuitable for harsh terrain deployment will also bedeveloped.●Compressive Sampling – Investigation into newmathematical techniques for radio imaging,particularly in domains in which the underlyingsignal is sparse.IBM – DOME
●Data in motion●Data processing in real time using streamingframeworks (“data in motion”).●Complex data calibration●Hand-processing by experts necessary for highestquality images → machine learning●Currently exploring real time flagging RFI in data●Goal is real time automated calibrationIBM – Machine Learning
● Technology prototyping● In conjunction with detailed roadmaps, Intel hasprovided engineering samples and prototype hardwarefor evaluation in a live telescope environment.● Particular focus on solid state storage and nextgeneration accelerator technology such as Xeon Phi(massively parallel processing).● Outreach● Project has just commenced feasability study to designan extremely low cost compute platform based on Intelmobile technology.● Will compete with devices such as Raspberry PI, buttailored for African market.● Initial run of 10,000 devices will be provided free ofcharge to high school students.Intel Collaboration
Capacity development• Use AVN project to build up institutional,technical, science capacity• Develop research and teaching inastronomy and physics – exchangeprogrammes etc.• Major technical training• Interns• Build HPC skills to become involved indata processing and science
Human Capital Programme• Focused pipeline strategy• Six SKA SA research chairs• Visiting / joint professorships• University grants – support or lecturers• Postdoctoral fellowships• Postgraduate bursaries• Undergraduate bursaries• Internships• Technician training at universities oftechnology• FET (artisan) training (from Carnarvon)– 9 taken in 2010, 8 employed at SKA SA– 15 taken in for 2012• Development of astrophysics andengineering in Africa partner states• Mobility grants
SKA Research Chairs and GroupsResearch chair/group University ProfessorElectromagnetic Systems andEMI (ElectromagneticInterference) MitigationStellenbosch Prof. David DavidsonRadio Astronomy Wits Prof. Sergio ColafrancescoAstrophysics UWC Prof. Roy MaartensMulti-WavelengthExtragalactic AstronomyUCT Prof. Claude CarignanRadio Astronomy Techniques Rhodes Prof. Oleg SmirnovDSP for Radio Astronomy UCT N/AHPC for Radio Astronomy UCT+UWC,StellenboschN/AFibre Optic systems for RadioAstronomyNMMU N/A
African Astrophysics• Nairobi– First 14 graduates of BSc Astrophysics– 19 started (chosen from 90), 1 dropped out, 4 ran outof money– Course started by graduates from SKA SA HCDprogramme– Most want to do MSc.• Madagascar teaching to Masters level• Mauritius has a long history of RA• Teaching in Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana,Zambia
Obinna Umeh - Nigeria• An SKA PhD student, Obinna Umeh, is about tograduate,. An examiner from Oxford thought it a”remarkable piece of work” and one of the ”mostimpressive theses I have read”. He has published 5papers already, with two awaiting acceptance,including an invited Key Issues Review for Reportson Progress in Physics, a review journal with thehighest impact factor in Physics. With aninternational collaborator, he has co-written a majornew code for analytically calculating the Einsteinequations to high accuracy. His work is high-impact: he has nearly 100 citations already. 110
Kenyan PhD student now back teaching in Nairobi
112One of our 79 studentsfrom other Africancountries who havereceived SKA SAbursaries
113SKA SA PhD students from Gabon andBotswana now holding post docs at AIMS
Objectives of the SKA SA’s Human Capital DevelopmentProgramme – SKA SA’s HCD Strategy 2008 - 20181. To use the exciting nature of the SKA to create a significant, andinteractive, research community, comprised predominantly of SouthAfricans and people from the SKA SA Partner States in Africa, but workingin science teams with the best researchers in the best universities andresearch institutions in the world.2. To create sufficient technical / on-site capacity to construct, operate andmaintain the MeerKAT, and the SKA.3. To bring students through school and undergraduate study intopostgraduate study in physics / mathematics and engineering.4. To contribute to the high-level objectives of the Department of Science andTechnology and the National Research Foundation, by providing asignificant input of PhDs into the economy and academic teaching and bycontributing to remedying the demographic imbalance in skilledresearchers in South Africa.
Principles of SKA SA’s HCD strategy1. Implement a pipeline model2. Consciously and deliberately address issues of inequality inscience and engineering research3. Attract the best and the brightest young people, by beingfinancially competitive and providing a platform forinnovative research.4. Retain the best and the brightest young people by providingcareer advancement opportunities, access to internationalresearch and creating a dynamic and interactivecommunity around the MeerKAT and SKA.
Research Capacity– Research Chairs– Currently five chairs (SU, UWC, RU, WITS and UCT)– R3 million per year per chair for 15 years– Visiting Professorships– High level, internationally regarded researchers– Spend a percentage of their time in RSA – supervising students /working on MeerKAT research– Academic positions– Professors and associate professors, lecturers and supervisors at SouthAfrican universities– Postdoctoral fellowship programme– Focused MeerKAT / SKA research at a high level– 2 + 1 year– Postgraduate bursary programme (PhD and MSc bursaries)– Focused MeerKAT / SKA research– Research groups programme– Three-year grant to a RSA university– Focus is on assisting MeerKAT with engineering research, and on skillsdevelopment
Rectify imbalances– Undergraduate bursary programme– Identify and support excellent science and engineering,undergraduate, PDI students– Undergraduate block grant programme– Universities are awarded a block grant equivalent to fourundergraduate bursaries– University selects the students, and in this way are able to“look after” the students and ensure their success.– Science and engineering skills development programme– Skills development workshops– Mobility grants
Site Capacity– BTech and National Diploma bursaryprogramme– Technician training for maintenance, upgrade andtelescope operations– FET bursary programme– Focus is on students from Carnarvon, Williston, VanWyksvlei and Brandvlei– FET certificates – electricians, plumbers, bricklayersetc.
South Africans BlackWomenBlackMenWhiteWomenWhiteMenTotalSouthAfricansAfricanForeignNationals TotalUndergraduate toHonours 6 8 7 4 25 0 25Honours to Masters 3 3 10 3 19 8 27Masters to Doctoral 2 3 7 3 15 10 25Doctoral to Postdoctoral 1 0 1 5 7 1 8Postdoctoral to AcademicPosition 0 1 1 2 4 0 4Of the 27 FET students supported, eight have been employed by the project as assistanttechnicians and report to the site operations team.Pipeline process
1. Started supporting undergraduate and honours studentsin 2008.2. Time frames for completion of degrees:- Undergraduate: 3 years- Honours: 1 year- Masters: 2 years- PhD: 3 years TOTAL: 9 years3. 26 students have been supported from undergraduate(BEng / BSc Honours) level to postgraduate level (MScand / or PhD).4. Most postdocs awarded to foreign nationals.5. The number of students who have moved into the SKASA project teams after MSc / PhD, or have moved intothe next level of study without SKA SA support is yet tobe updated. As at 2011, the attrition rate was 30%.Pipeline
Principles underlying the SKA SA’s HCD strategy• Retain the best and the brightest young people byproviding career advancement opportunities, accessto international research and creating a dynamic andinteractive community around the MeerKAT and SKA.– Retain people by ensuring recognition and researchadvancement.– Research and career advancement through access to travelabroad.– Drop-out rate is minimized because SKA SA is an excitingand challenging project.
What have we learnt1. Young people are attracted to exciting, mega-scienceand engineering projects.2. Invest in excellence for a higher ROI.3. Capacity development takes a long time and requiresa significant investment - we have to be able attractacademically excellent students in competition withothers and retain them.4. Deliberate capacity development requires a hands-onapproach5. Researchers thrive in an interactive environment.6. A pipeline model works
Comments from leading internationalresearchers• Professor Mike Jones (Oxford University) at the student conference: “Yourwork is comparable with that of top students in other countries, and evenwith the work of professional astronomers.”• Professor van Ardenne of ASTRON: “Your deliberate and concentratedcapacity development is unique in the world, and is clearly working”.• The late Prof Steve Rawlings, then Head of Department of AstrophysicsOxford University, UK: "I am really impressed by what I have seen at thisconference and how things have exploded on the science and engineeringside in such a short time scale. South Africa is doing all the right things forthe SKA!"• Dr. Clive Dickinson, staff scientist at CALTECH : “South Africa is the future
Schools Programme– Since 2005, the SKA SA has worked with the schools in the townsnear the SKA site.– Improve mathematics and science education, so that studentsfrom this area can become active participants in the MeerKAT andSKA science and engineering programmes.– Facilitated the recruitment of qualified mathematics and scienceteachers, the construction and equipping of a Cyberlab andscience laboratories, astronomy talks, career guidance, teachertraining, role models, holiday programmes, sky viewing sessions,field trips and exchange programmes.– 24 x Grade 9 students from the area have been awardedbursaries by the project to study at Carnarvon High School, theonly high school in the area teaching mathematics andscience.