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Tue Dec 23 06:20:17 SAST 2014

SA company wins contract to build Meerkat antennas

Sapa | 08 February, 2013 08:50
The KAT-7 telescope, a precursor to the much larger MeerKAT Karoo telescope and SKA
Image by: PICTURES: RENÉ VOLLGRAAFF and ESA ALEXANDER

A South African company has been awarded the contract to build 64 antennas for the new MeerKAT radio telescope.

Although they were being designed in Germany and the United States, South Africa owned all related intellectual property rights according to the Cape Argus.

The MeerKAT is the precursor instrument for the giant Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope.

South Africa and its eight African partners had won the right to host more than 70 percent of the project.

The telescope site is near Carnarvon in the Great Karoo.

According to the report, two contracts due to be awarded before the end of March were for the antennas' foundations, or radio signal receiving dishes, and a site security contract.

Another contract to install 200km of optical fibre cabling on-site would likely be awarded during the second quarter of the year.

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