The 64 Dish MeerKAT radio telescope was officially launched on the 13th July, 90 kilometres outside of Carnarvon in the Northern Cape by Deputy President David Mabuza. As a localisation beneficiary and supplier to the SKA project MD of TraX, Daniel Dock was fortunate to be among the guests invited to attend the official inauguration. TraX manufactured circuit boards that were used as components in the sensitive receivers as well as the signal processing equipment. The printed circuit boards required for MeerKAT meant that TraX needed to invest a significant amount of money into technology development and processing equipment 5 years ago so as to be able to meet the technology demands of the SKA boards.The MeerKAT is currently the world's largest radio telescope and has now begun science operations.
At the launch event, a panorama obtained with the new telescope was unveiled that reveals extraordinary detail in the region surrounding the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy. This is one of several very exciting new views of the Universe already observed by the telescope.
All images provided courtesy of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO).