Old satellites boosting African IT
Mike Gaylard, acting Managing Director of Hartebeeshoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, believes networked radio telescopes could boost information technology infrastructure across the continent.
In a public statement released yesterday, Gaylard said the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope South Africa is currently bidding to host, could be the boost Africa needs on the IT front.
“We have talked about how radio astronomy is boosting hi-tech and human capital development in SA. It can do the same in other countries.”
African countries are converting old and decommissioned telecommunication dishes into radio astronomy telescopes, aiming to form an African network of telescopes.
“We have the capacity,” Tshepo Seekoe, the Department of Science and Technology’s chief director for radio astronomy advances, said last year.
“Countries previously used telecom dishes (for communication), but we now have undersea cables and broadband. Dishes are expensive. So old dishes are being converted into telescopes,” he added.