Evaluation of Alternative Telecommunication Technologies for the Karoo Central Astronomy Advantage Area

Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) ; South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) (2021)

Cite: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), (2021). Evaluation of Alternative Telecommunication Technologies for the Karoo Central Astronomy Advantage Area. [Online] Available at: DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/assaf.2021/0073

The National Research Foundation (NRF) requested the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), on behalf of South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), to undertake an independent and objective evaluation of potential alternative telecommunication technologies for the areas of the Karoo Central Astronomy Advantage Areas (KCAAA). The study encompasses regulatory, public sphere, and technical dimensions to explore options for maintaining the functionality of the telescope while, at the same time, delivering appropriate connectivity solutions for local communities.

The objectives of this study are as follows:

1) Assess the technologies currently being, or planning to be, deployed through existing alternative communications programs managed by SARAO, including whether these technologies are comparable with market available technologies that could feasibly be deployed in the KCAAA; and

2) Assessment of current and future telecommunication technologies that may act as suitable replacement and/or improvement (functional and feasible) for existing detrimental technologies, utilised in the KCAAA.

This report provides a critical background into the relationship between the SKA and local communities as it relates to ICTs in the area. Based on this understanding, potential technology solutions are proposed to ensure residents of the KCAAA are still afforded valuable access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) within the parameters of affordability, desirability and feasibility.

Author and contributor ORCIDs: Petruccione, Francesco ORCID; Gastrow, Michael ORCID; Hadzic, Senka ORCID; Kies, Carl ORCID; Limpitlaw, Justine ORCID; Paul, Babu Sena ORCID; Wolhuter, Riaan ORCID
Publisher: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
Sponsorship: National Research Foundation (NRF)
Peer review status: Peer-Reviewed