IBM will develop advanced technologies for what will be the world’s largest radio telescope, operational in 2024
IBM is developing new data management and analysis technologies for what will be the world’s largest radio telescope. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), due to become operational in 2024, will produce so much data that even tomorrow’s off-the-shelf computers will have difficulty processing all of it, the company predicted.
“This is a research project to find out how to build a computer system,” to handle exabytes’ worth of data each day, said Ton Engbersen, an IBM researcher on the project.
The Netherlands has granted IBM and the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) a five-year grant of €32.9 million (US$43.6 million) to design a system, with novel technologies, that can ingest the massive amounts of data that SKA will produce.
Funded by a consortium of 20 government agencies, SKA will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, able to give scientists a better idea of how the Big Bang unfolded 13 billion years ago. SKA will actually be comprised of 3,000 small antennas, each providing a continual stream of data.