High frequency radio telescope to be constructed in Kasempa

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—Kasempa District is earmarked for the construction of a radio telescope that will cover approximately one square kilometre, with a wide range of frequencies that will make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument in the world.


The project will be capable of addressing a wide range of questions in astrophysics, fundamental physics, cosmology and particle astrophysics as well as extending the range of the observable universe.


Kasempa District Council Secretary, Patson Kapoba, confirmed the development to ZANIS in an interview today and said a distance of one square kilometre is required to put up 30 satellite dishes in Kasempa’s Kamfufula area.


Mr Kapoba said a group of scientist from Australia was in the district over the weekend for the purposes of discussing with Senior Chief Kasempa on the availability of land in the named area, adding that the proposed area is suitable for the project because of no wave interference.


He explained that the project, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom, is being called the Square Kilometer Array and will require high performance central computing engines and long-haul links with a capacity greater than the current global internet traffic.

“It will be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than ever before”, he noted.


The project has a budget of 1.6 billion Pounds and is scheduled to begin in 2016 while full operations are expected by 2024.


Mr Kapoba said once approved the project will create employment while putting Zambia on the map for possible tourist destination.


And Senior Chief Kasempa has consented to the project provided the survey is done without displacing vulnerable people in the area.