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A Preparatory phase proposal for the Square Kilometre Array (PrepSKA)
Start date: Apr 1, 2008, End date: Mar 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be one of the largest scientific projects ever undertaken. It is a machine designed to answer some of the big questions of our time: what is Dark Energy? Was Einstein right about gravity? What is the nature of dark matter? Can we detect gravitational waves? When and how did the first stars and galaxies form? What was the origin of cosmic magnetism? How do Earth-like planets form? Is there life, intelligent or otherwise, elsewhere in the Universe? There are several issues that need to be addressed before construction of the SKA can begin: 1. What is the design for the SKA? 2. Where will the SKA be located? 3. What is the legal framework and governance structure under which SKA will operate? 4. What is the most cost-effective mechanism for the procurement of the various components of the SKA? 5. How will the SKA be funded? The purpose of this proposal is to address all of these points. We seek funding to integrate the R&D work from around the globe in order to develop the fully-costed design for Phase 1 of the SKA, and a deployment plan for the full instrument. With active collaboration between funding agencies and scientists, we will investigate all of the options for the policy-related questions. The principal deliverable will be an implementation plan that will form the basis of a funding proposal to governments to start the construction of the SKA.
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