Stratosat Datacom to build 64 antennas for SKA MeerKAT telescope

South African company Stratosat Datacom has been awarded a contract to construct 64 antennas for the new MeerKAT radio telescope.

Stratosat Datacom will be responsible for the design, building, installation and commissioning of the 64 MeerKAT antennas with technical assistance from international antenna manufacturer Dynamics SATCOM Technologies.

The MeerKAT antennas are a precursor for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, which will give scientists the opportunity to study how the first galaxies formed countless of eons ago. The telescope site is located near Carnarvon in the Great Karoo.

“I am exceptionally proud to have been part of the MeerKAT Telescope proposal team for Stratosat and it was a very rewarding moment when it became known that we will be selected by SKA SA as the successful bidder to supply the antenna positioners for the epic MeerKAT project,” said Alan Geldenhuys, owner of Stratosat.

Two other contracts are to be awarded for the antennas’ radio signal receiving dishes and site security before the end of March.

Another contract is likely to be awarded during the second quarter of this year for the installation of 200 kilometres of optical fibre cabling on-site.

Stratosat Datacom said the first dish may be set up by January 2014  and the other 63 should be completed by the end of 2016.

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