Infrastructure Australia


During this quarter significant progression of the design packages was achieved. A series of one-day workshops were undertaken between CSIRO and Aurecon to progress the infrastructure design towards CDR in mid-2018. A first stage of this work towards CDR is an internal Infrastructure Australia “design walkthrough” in December 2017, where the team will spend three days going through all aspects of the design works, with some additional review provided by Martin Austin, Adriaan Schutte and Tracy Cheetham.

The recent workshops address many of the design elements, including the central processing facility (CPF) design and location, HV and LV layouts around the site, and fire safety compliance. Significant progress was specifically made in the areas of flood studies for important input to infrastructure location decisions as well as in the CPF’s design configuration including the building floor plans and RFI shielding requirements.

In terms of shielding, appropriate advances were made in design options to counter any potential RFI implications caused by power cabling to the building and an initial theoretical report modelling this scenario was also drafted. Assessment of this draft is presently underway to assist in identifying the best approach. In addition, ‘RFI shielding requirements’ versus ‘fibre cabling length’ cost studies have been completed providing a sense of the most practical optimum range for the CPF location from the SKA1-low core.

In addition, other key elements of the CPF design. For the maser area of the building a vibration model was created to inform the structural design package. Critical cooling and power solutions were developed, along with a reliability study of these components.

Remote Processing Facility (RPF) design work has also been concurrently underway, focusing on optimising floor layout, cooling solutions and further work on remote power options for the RPFs.

CSIRO and Aurecon also met most recently at CSIRO in Sydney to discuss the HV and LV electrical layouts around the site as well as looking at maximising the common use of trenches for power and fibre to minimise overall project cost. INAU have developed a model for optimising trenching which has the potential to provide significant benefit to the project. Outcomes of this discussion were positive with identified actions that will address the final design to be presented for upcoming workshops.

Additional workshops have been held on safety in design and asset protection requirements and basis, including fire suppression.

Development of access road and track details also continued during this period, looking at several options for the primary access track. In addition, significant work has been completed on ground preparation requirements for the Low core with overlays on the INAU digital platform.

INAU has also been busy working with the Australian Government (DIIS) on providing input to options around the location of the temporary construction camp, power station etc. INAU has also worked towards having all ICDs including LFAA, SaDT, CSP and TM signed off. Agreement has been reached with all the interfacing consortia with two documents signed while the remaining two will be put through signature in the near future by SKAO. At this technical phase of the project, this has required many communications between the various consortia and the SKAO to allow prompt resolution of outstanding questions.

Whilst progress towards CDR continues, INAU is also considering the path from CDR, through System CDR to tender document creation, procurement and construction.

Finally, the calendar year ends, INAU will hold a design walkthrough to be held at the Aurecon offices in Perth from 11-13 December 2017. This workshop is intended to be a final check on the design work, progressing towards CDR in early 2018. In particular, it will provide confirmation of suitability of design, through Level 2 compliance with requirements, and integration of appropriate ECPs.

Report provided by the Infrastructure Australia consortium