Infrastructure South Africa


The INSA Consortium is responsible for the design of the Infrastructure & Power Products for SKA1-mid in South Africa. This includes Access (roads, civil works), Buildings, Communication, Site Monitoring, Security, Antenna Foundations, Vehicles, Power, Water and Sanitation.

Good progress is being made on the external ICDs in compliance with Level 1 Rev 10 requirements. The biggest uncertainty remains with the CSP cooling and power requirements.


The Consortium has concluded its next set of MeerKAT power measurements and submitted the latest MeerKAT power consumption report to the SKAO. Measurements will continue until MeerKAT is fully operational and this will be utilised as an input to the SKAO Power budget and as an input to power simulations being undertaken for the detailed design of the SKA1-mid power system.

A comprehensive trade-off model has been developed by the Consortium to consider the trade-off in lifecycle costs between providing standalone PV (renewable) plants as opposed to overhead power distribution lines to some of the antennas in the spiral arms. This is in an effort to reduce power costs. RFI measurements and propagation modelling has been concluded and a draft report has been submitted to the SKAO for review.

A line route surveyor is currently on site engaging with landowners to agree on the power line routing in the spiral arms. This work is expected to be concluded in April 2017 and will be used as an input to the detailed design of the overhead power lines in the spiral arms.

SKA1-mid Antenna Foundation Prototype

As a result of the change to the SKA1-mid antenna pedestal diameter, the Consortium has adjusted its detailed design of the antenna foundation prototype and held a second review on the 9th March 2017. Observations directly relevant to the prototype foundation have been closed out and the antenna foundation prototype contractor has commenced construction on site.

Upgrade to Mid Central Processing and Power Facility

The tender to appoint a design engineering team to assist the Consortium with the detailed design of the upgrade the Central Processing Facility and Power Facility will be awarded in early May 2017.

SKA1-mid Physical Configuration

Following inputs from the Strategic Environmental Specialist studies and floodline analysis undertaken on the SKA site in South Africa, final relatively minor adjustments are being made to the SKA1-MID physical configuration for CDR.

Site Characterisation Studies

The geotechnical and geohydrological contractor will continue with drilling and tests during April 2017. These investigations are required as inputs to the detailed design of the MID antenna foundations and water & sanitation.

Cost Plan Updates

The Consortium submitted its updated Cost Plan to the SKAO in February 2017. A deep-dive cost review was held on the 22 March and the Consortium is working on closing out all observations.

Report provided by the Infrastructure South Africa consortium