SKA Africa - IEEE Community Talk


SKA Africa and the South Africa Section of the IEEE invites you an evening talk on: 

                               Engineering Challenges in Radio Astronomy 

                               To be presented by: Professor Justin Jonas.

The Associate Director: Science and Engineering of South Africa's SKA programme.


Talk to be streamed from 18:00 SAST :

  Date and Time




  • Date: 03 Sep 2015
  • Time: 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
  • All times are Africa/Johannesburg
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  • SKA South Africa, 2nd Floor, The Park, Park Road (off Alexandra Road)
  • Pinelands
  • Cape Town, Western Cape
  • South Africa 7405

  • Co-sponsored by SKA Africa


Prof. Justin Jonas
Prof. Justin Jonas


Engineering Challenges in Radio Astronomy

Radio Astronomy is a relatively young science that gained momentum in the 1950's because of wartime advances in radar and other radio technologies.  Radio telescopes continue to make use of the latest technologies to remain competitive, and conversely the stringent requirements of modern radio astronomy observations drive the development of new techniques and technologies.  Radio telescopes encompass a wide range of engineering disciplines, from mechanical structures through to high-performance computing. This talk will provide a brief history of radio astronomy and give an overview of the electronic and computer engineering challenges in modern radio astronomy, with a particular focus on the MeerKAT radio telescope.


Refreshments will be served.



Associate Director: Science and Engineering, SKA South Africa

While still at school, he had developed a fascination for the enormous Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire in the United Kingdom. One day he would come full-circle when the International SKA Organisation would be headquartered there.

One of his science teachers organised a visit to the Rhodes University Physics and Electronics Department and a lifelong passion was born when he saw the microwave radio receiver being built there.

"I really wanted to build stuff," he smiles. This understated comment fails to reveal that to build this kind of "stuff" he needs what Dr Bernie Fanaroff, Project Director of SKA South Africa, describes as a combination of "an outstanding understanding of physics and an equally outstanding understanding of electronics, telecommunications, computing and engineering principles." In short, something of a genius.

But Professor Jonas is no ivory-tower intellectual. He brings something special to lectures and discussions in which he participates. Former Rhodes University Vice-chancellor, Dr Saleem Badat, has said he possesses "the ability to excite people from all walks of life about science".

Prof. Justin Jonas


Engineering Challenges in Radio Astronomy