The SKA Project is now well into the pre-construction phase with 12 Consortia carrying out design work to refine and progress the technologies and systems following the Preliminary Design Reviews (PDR) completed in 2016. These consortia are spread across the globe and are constituted from a variety of institutes and commercial companies. The consortia are now all working towards their Critical Design Reviews (CDR) in the very near future within tight cost-capped budgets. The output of these CDRs will act as the basis for the Construction Plan and Proposal in 2018.
The 2017 SKA Engineering Meeting will provide a global overview of the status, progress and way forward for the project in terms of science, governance, engineering and management. The aim of the meeting is to ensure that the project is clearly focused on the issues related with completing the work required for CDRs; it will ensure these are identified and that ownership is clear. Part of the meeting will be devoted to Consortia presentations on the status of design and progress in each of the work-packages, which will include the status of their progress towards Construction. The Consortia will present their composition and approach, along with issues and options for further cost management.
As part of the conference we plan to run a series of workshops dealing with specific issues; including concluding interfaces and construction planning. We also plan to include slots in the programme for the consortia to spend time interacting together, so arrangements will be made to allow consortia or groups to book meeting time. Finally, on the Friday 16 June, time is set aside for all consortia to hold a face-to-face meeting.
The meeting will furthermore provide a forum for consortia to work the many common issues such as interface definitions in work sessions to allow closure of issues towards CDR activities. Naturally, there will be general face-to-face discussions among SKA Office staff, members of the SKA Element Consortia, the Telescope Teams and other members of the science and engineering community.
Finally, ASTRON is arranging a visit to the LOFAR and Westerbork radio telescopes prior to the start of the Engineering Meeting, on Sunday 11 June. Check the corresponding section of the Indico website for further details.
The main meetings will be held from Monday 12 to Thursday 15 June, and the Consortia meetings will be held on Friday 12 June. Meetings will take place at the De Doelen conference centre. It is open to all members of the Consortia and SKA science and engineering community working as part of the pre-construction phase of the project.