The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is set to lead a global
collaborative radio astronomy project that will conduct groundbreaking
science in the field of astrophysics while building on South Africa's
existing excellence in radio astronomy.
Located at the Square
Kilometre Array (SKA), South Africa's core site in the Karoo, the Hydrogen
Intensity and Real Time Analysis eXperiment (HIRAX) telescope will have
important synergies with the 64-dish MeerKAT, the country's precursor to the
Jointly funded by UKZN, and the Department of Science and Technology through
the National Research Foundation, HIRAX will be a compact radio telescope
array of 1 024 six-metre dishes that will map about a third of the sky
during its four years of observation.
The main goals of the project will be to study dark energy using hydrogen
intensity mapping between 400 and 800 MHz, as well as to detect and localise
fast radio bursts by using outrigger arrays throughout southern Africa.
The HIRAX project was launched by the Minister of Science and Technology,
Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, and UKZN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Albert
van Jaarsveld, at the Coastland Umhlanga Hotel on Friday, 17 August.