Antennas dedicated to mid and high frequency observations (350 MHz – 14 GHz) will constitute an array whose centre is located in a South African desert region, Karoo, far away from possible man-made radio interference sources.
In the first SKA1 project phase, 133 antennas will be installed, joining the 64 MeerKAT antennas in the 197 dish SKA-Mid. In the second phase, which is to begin after 2023, there will be more than 2000 dishes distributed among several African countries, with a maximum 3000 km baseline. The total collected area will be 1 km2.


SKA DISH consortium

SKA Dish Consortium is constituted by Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Sweden. Inside SKA DISH “sub-elements” have been defined such as Dish Structure (DS), Single Pixel Feed (SPF), Receivers (RX), Phased Array Feed (PAF), Local Monitor and Control (LMC). INAF has the responsibility of LMC software design, implementation and testing.


Dish Control

The large number of SKA antennas which will be part of SKA in the first phase and later, can not be directly and efficiently monitored and controlled by SKA Telescope Manager (TM) which is responsible of the high level arrays and observations management. TM delegates SKA elements control and monitoring functions to local processing units called Local Monitor and Control (LMC). In the case of Dish, TM interfaces with the LMC of every single antenna, which in turn controls Dish sub-elements.


The main DISH LMC tasks are:

  • Pointing management: radio sources coordinates corrections due to static and dynamic antenna deformations;
  • TM commands management and forwarding to Dish sub-elements (DS, SPF, PAF, RX);
  • Dish sub-elements monitoring and reporting to TM.


INAF takes part to SKA.DISH with:

  • Astronomical Observatory of Catania (C. Trigilio, U. Becciani, A. Costa, A. Ingallinera, S. Riggi, F. Schilliro’)
  • Astronomical Observatory of Trieste (R. Cirami, A. Marassi)