Infrastructure South Africa


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

The Consortium submitted its CDR submission pack to the SKAO on the 30 April 2018 following our CDR Readiness Review in March 2018.

The CDR panel raised a total of 478 observations of which 137 observations were discussed at the CDR meeting which was held from the 2-4 July at Jodrell Bank.

Part of the CDR agenda was to also look at six different infrastructure scenarios to test the design – which includes but not limited to: a failure of the mains power supply; a lightning strike on one overhead power distribution line on a spiral arm, a fire in the Central Processing Facility and extreme conditions to name a few.

These scenarios were extremely helpful to validate the design and to pick up any potential gaps which are being addressed as part of CDR close-out.

A number of aspects have been identified by the Consortium and the SKAO which will be carried forward to the bridging phase. One activity in particular will be to revisit some of the road, power and fibre routing, particularly in the 3 spiral arms as the heritage, ecology and aquatic walkthrough has been completed and NO GO areas identified. A routing discussion was scheduled on the 25 July in Johannesburg with the environmental specialists to agree on how this routing should change. There are similarly a few antenna positions that have also been identified in NO GO areas and will have to shift. This will require an update to the SKA1-mid physical configuration through an Engineering Change Proposal once the new antenna positions have been agreed to with the SKAO.

The Consortium will work towards a two-phase submission for CDR close-out in September 2018.

Report provided by the Infrastructure South Africa consortium