The square kilometer array (SKA) is a radio tescope in development which will have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometre. It will operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size will make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument. It will require very high performance central computing engines and long-haul links with a capacity greater than the current global internet traffic. It will be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than ever before.

20170425_193735 Moura Demonstrator with Low Frequency SKA Antennas Prototypes




The expected average power usage of the SKA will be between 50-100 MW, but over an extended location (up to 3000 Km diameter), with many different nodes, and sparse occupation of that terrain beyond the central core. The SKA will not have strong peaks either, keeping a much smoother consumption profile. Energy generation at a continental scale for this facility, with different load profiles at different locations and stations, means that modular power generators are needed , which can be packed together to provide energy to the most densely packed stations, and then able by themselves to provide energy to the most isolated stations . Another consideration is that SKA, as a radio telescope, can observe the sky 24/7 , so power consumption should also be maintained night and day.

Because of these technical requirements, the power supply for the SKA project is not solved.It is at this point where BIOSTRILING and SKA interact. The BIOSTRILING Project will aim to provide a solution to the SKA power problem, offering a renewable, reliable and isolated power system solution. The direct involvement in the BIOSTIRLING Project of some European partners of the SKA Project is required to achieve the expected solution. Because of that, CSIC, ASTRON, IT and MPG will have an essential role in the project.