BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese engineers have built the first medium-frequency antenna of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), marking a significant step towards the construction of the world's largest radio telescope array.
The antenna was set up at a testing site in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, on Wednesday. It signifies the leading role that China has played in providing the core facility and antenna solution for the SKA.
SKA is a network of thousands of radio antennas of varying types and sizes, located at several sites in Western Australia and Southern Africa. It will feature much higher sensitivity and survey speeds than any other radio instrument developed so far.
The first antenna will lay a technical foundation for SKA's 64 sets of mid-frequency antennas, which will be developed by institutions from China, South Africa and Italy.
The international big science project was jointly funded, built and run by more than 10 countries, with China being one of the seven founding members and a signatory to the SKA Observatory Convention signed in 2019.
The array's scientific goals include the formation of the first light-emitting objects in the universe, the nature of dark energy, cosmic magnetic field and gravity, as well as the search for life molecules and even extraterrestrial civilization.