The China Electricity Division attaches great importance to the SKA project, and has set up a special SKA project leadership team and office to coordinate and promote SKA related work from the group level. A number of network communication sub group 54, Bo Wei Zi Group 38, 32 and many other units participated in the SKA work. In November 2015, after the SKA Antenna Work Pack Alliance and the SKA organization's international expert review, the network communication sub-group 54 submitted the SKA antenna preliminary design scheme, became the SKA follow-up research and development of the only design scheme, marking China began to play a leading role in international scientific projects; in October 2017, China Electric SKA Office Wang Feng, deputy director of the alliance, was elected as the new chairman of the alliance. The Joint Laboratory of radio astronomy and astronomy, jointly established by 54 network communication sub-groups and the National Observatory, became the leading unit of SKA Antenna WorkPack Alliance, which realized the first time that China took the lead in the core work package of major international scientific projects. In February 2018, the first antenna (SKA-P) made by China's electrical research system was officially released in Shijiazhuang, marking China's leading and leading role in the development of SKA core equipment, providing a successful antenna solution for the world in major international scientific projects.
SKA-P has gone through many stages of research and development, such as concept antenna development, preliminary design, detailed design, the first prototype, and so on. It has achieved global leadership in comprehensive performance in many fields.
SKA-P consists of two main and auxiliary reflectors. The main reflector is a hexagon of 15 *20 meters in length. It is composed of 66 triangular panels with different curvatures and about 3 meters in side. The area of SKA-P is 235 square meters, more than half of the basketball court is large, and the accuracy of a single triangular panel is kept at 0.1 mm.
The accuracy of the reflector directly affects the sensitivity of the antenna. Under the influence of gravity, temperature and wind, the accuracy of the SKA-P main reflector is as high as 0.5 mm, that of the sub-reflector is as high as 0.2 mm, and that of the SKA-P antenna is higher than that of all similar antennas at present. At the same time, it adopts the design of high electromagnetic shielding antenna pedestal, and realizes the high electromagnetic shielding index of 160dB. If the sensitivity of the antenna is compared to the ability to listen, then high electromagnetic shielding shields the antenna from electromagnetic interference emitted by electronic devices, allowing the "ear" to focus more on listening to the sounds of the universe.
SKA-P adopts all-digital high-precision servo drive control system, high-precision pedestal and antenna structure conformal design, and achieves high pointing accuracy of three thousandths of a degree. When receiving the observation instructions, it can accurately point to the target to be measured. At the same time, thousands of antennas distributed in the 3000 km range should be synchronously aligned with the same observation target, and continuously synchronously track the observation, so as to achieve maximum receiving efficiency. SKA-P achieves the "high pointing consistency" of "step-by-step consistent listening to command" in the design and manufacture.
In addition, in the aspect of aperture array, China Electronics Corp. 38 has conquered the key technologies of SKA low frequency aperture array, such as optical fiber transmission, time synchronization, amplitude and phase correction, and joined Cambridge University to realize SKA multi-channel digital beamforming for the first time in the world, which is a breakthrough in the key technologies of SKA low frequency telescope. A new system and technology path of all digital, multi-beam, all-space digital array with compact aperture array are proposed, and the key prototype of digital-analog hybrid beamforming system is developed.
It is believed that with the joint efforts of China and South Africa, the SKA project will shine brighter in the future.