[ASA] Australian SKA Project Director Update – July 2015 SKA Organisation Board meeting [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Luchetti, David David.Luchetti at industry.gov.au
Tue Aug 25 15:22:06 AEST 2015

Dear ASA Members,

To update you on progress with the SKA project - the SKA Organisation (SKAO) Board met last month in Cape Town, South Africa to progress governance, operational and administrative matters. The visit also gave Australian Government representatives an opportunity to meet with South African SKA representatives.

SKA membership and Board representative changes

All member countries were represented at the Board meeting and a number of observers (Malta, Portugal, Spain, France, Korea and Japan) attended.

The SKAO Board unanimously elected Prof Giovanni Bignami (Italy) as the Chair, and Mr Yin Jun (China) as the Deputy Chair.  The Board was advised of changes to national representation for Australia, China and New Zealand. Following Mr Martin Hoffman’s departure, Australia has reappointed Ms Patricia Kelly (Director General, IP Australia, Department of Industry and Science) as the voting Member and Board Representative. Dr Sarah Pearce (Deputy Director, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science) remains Australia’s Science Representative to the Board.

Professor Richard Hills (UK) was nominated to continue as SKA Science and Engineering Advisory Committee (SEAC) Chair. Richard has indicated that he will make a decision on whether to continue in the role after new SEAC Terms of Reference are agreed.

The Board endorsed the Terms of Reference for the Strategy and Business Development Committee (StratCom) and called for nominations for the position of Chair and Committee member. I have been nominated as Australia’s representative.

Operational Matters

The Board discussed early drafts of the Operations and Construction plans. Dr Sarah Pearce was nominated to be Australia’s representative on an Operations Working Group which will work with the SKA Office to finalise an Operations Plan. Other representatives will come from the UK, South Africa and the Netherlands.

The Board discussed the concept of Regional Data Centres and Regional Science and Engineering Centres and agreed to develop these concepts further ahead of future Board meetings. Prof Peter Quinn (ICRAR) has been nominated to represent Australia on the newly formed Regional Data Centres Working Group.

The Board is keen to gain a fuller understanding of the progress of SKA pre-construction consortia and will ask for direct input/commentary from consortia in future design activity reports to the Board.

The Board noted that the August SKA Key Science Workshop in Stockholm needed to limit attendance due to overwhelming interest. In future, where demand exceeds expectation, all efforts to accommodate the larger numbers will be made.

Bilateral meeting and treaty negotiations

Australian representatives met with South African representatives to discuss issues associated with the SKA project. Issues discussed included development of the system architecture, Big Data and the project schedule.

Attendees also discussed the planned SKA Treaty negotiations, due to begin in Rome in September. Italy has agreed to chair these negotiations across three planned meetings in September, December and February. The SKA Treaty negotiations will finalise the Key Document Set including the Observatory Agreement, Financial Protocol, Access Policy, Procurement Policy and Construction and Operation plans.

I hope this update is useful, and if you would like further information about the SKA project, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best regards

David Luchetti
Australian SKA Project Director
Australian Square Kilometre Array Office
Department of Industry and Science
Level 9, 10 Binara Street, Canberra City ACT 2601
GPO Box 9839, Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: +61-2-6213 6068  Mob: +61 411 021 135
Email:  david.luchetti at industry.gov.au<mailto:david.luchetti at industry.gov.au>
Internet: www.ska.gov.au<http://www.ska.gov.au/>

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