BoF at ISC17


The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the world’s largest and most powerful radio-telescope, to be built in remote locations in Australia and South Africa as a combined effort of various countries (ten countries are currently full members of the SKA Organisation). Pre-construction design for the SKA1 (first phase of the project) commenced in 2013 and is due to finish in 2018. SKA1 construction is scheduled 2019 – 2025 and aims to build a system that will answer fundamental questions about our Universe.

Over the next 50 years SKA1 will produce Big Data on a scale that the ICT Industry will be facing in 5-10 years time therefore the design work is giving an early exposure to new ICT technologies and potential spinoffs for next-generation Big Data applications (genomics, smart cities, environmental, etc) and could help generate new companies, steer technology evolution, IP generation and first-to-market ideas.

This BoF will bring together several participants in the design of the computing platform of the SKA and interested parties and discuss topics such as:

  • Data Management Challenges,
  • High Performance Data Analytics,
  • Data availability when and where it is needed,
  • Frameworks required for SKA scale projects,
  • Mega-science projects – management and implementation,
  • Compute platform design, prototyping and specification,
  • Role of hardware accelerators and HPC software,
  • Middleware, OpenStack, Software Development Environment,
  • Power considerations towards exascale computing and others.


Dr Happy Sithole – Director of the Centre of High Performance Computing of South Africa


Nicolás Erdödy – CEO & Founder, Open Parallel Ltd, New Zealand

Important information: