Maison SKA-France officially becomes the 12th member of SKA Organisation [fr]
The French consortium Maison SKA-France, led by the CNRS, has become the 12th member of SKA Organisation, the Office responsible for coordinating the global activities of the Square Kilometer Array project.
After having registered SKA as a project in the French Roadmap for Research Infrastructures in May, France’s involvement in the SKA project has reached a new milestone. The SKA Board of Directors indeed positively reviewed the request of the CNRS to join the SKA Organisation, Europe’s largest research organization.
Chair of the SKA Board of Directors Dr. Catherine Cesarsky shakes hands with French representative Dr. Michel Pérault, marking the occasion with members of the Board and observers. (Credit: SKA Organisation)
Maison SKA-France presently includes 5 research organisations (CNRS, Observatoire de Paris, Côted’Azur Observatory, Orléans University and Bordeaux University) as well as 7 private companies (Air Liquide, ATOS-Bull, Callisto, CNIM, FEDD, Kalray, TAS).
France has already contributed greatly to the SKA project as an observer country, with French researchers being involved in all 11 of the SKA’s Science Working Groups.
French institutions are now willing to further increase their involvement. Being a member of SKAO will give the French consortium credibility and legitimacy to submit a convincing funding case in 2020 in the framework of the French Roadmap for Research infrastructures. It will also allow the access to the telescope for French scientists.
The SKA will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang, how galaxies have evolved since then, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, the search for life beyond Earth.