World Largest Telescope to have IT controls built in India

Published: September 21, 2020

The square kilometre array also called the SKA, an international initiative building the world’s largest radio telescope is to have control systems designed and built by Tata Consultancy Services, an IT company based in India. Several other multiple leading Indian scientific Institutions are also contributing to the project under the leadership of TCS.


The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) operating under Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is the leading manager of the project. The other institutes that are contributing towards the project are Raman Research Institute, Inter University Centre for astronomy and Astrophysics, Indian Institute of Astrophysics Bengaluru and several other IITs. The radio telescope project is funded by 15 member countries. This includes India and China as well.

The NCRA-TIFR is developing the central nervous system of the telescope, that is, the control systems that will power the telescope.

Square kilometre array

The telescope is to be built over a square kilometre and hence the name square kilometre array. The telescope is to be built in in South Africa. The out stations of the telescope is to be located in eight other African partner countries such as Ghana, Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius. Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Namibia. The low frequency array of the telescope is to be built in Western Australia.

What are radio telescopes?

The radio telescopes are those telescopes that detect radio waves.

About the project

The project is established in South Africa and Australia in the southern hemisphere because the view of Milky Way galaxy is the best in here. The project is expected to investigate cosmic magnetism. Cosmic magnetism is still a mystery to astronomers. Astronomers are struggling to find answers to  questions about origin and evolution of cosmic magnetism.

However, it is clear that cosmic magnetism plays an important role in interstellar and intergalactic space.

What is cosmic magnetism?

It refers to the magnetic fields that are present in stars, planets, galaxies and in the universe at large. Without magnetism around the earth life would not be possible in the planet. This feature is found around every celestial body and is referred to as cosmic magnetism. Thus, it is essential to study about cosmic magnetism and the SKA project that aims to study the phenomenon gains its importance.