African-European Radio Astronomy Platform Africa-EU Cooperation Forum on ICT. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 3 December 2013

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1 African-European Radio Astronomy Platform 2013 Africa-EU Cooperation Forum on ICT Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 3 December 2013

2 Context The African European Radio Astronomy Platform European Parliament s Written Declaration 45/2011 on Science Capacity Building in Africa: promoting European African radio astronomy partnerships Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.407 CXVIII of the Heads of State of the African Union: radio astronomy to be a priority focus area for Africa EU cooperation

3 European Parliament s Written declaration on Science Capacity Building in Africa: promoting European African radio astronomy partnerships The European Parliament, having regard to the Joint Africa EU Strategy, which aims at strengthening science and technology cooperation between the EU and Africa, having regard to the Millennium Development Goals, which identify the essential role of science and technology for socio economic transformation, having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure, A. recognising the value of research infrastructures in facilitating cooperation with Africa, promoting human capital development and addressing societal challenges, as noted in the Innovation Union and Europe 2020 Strategy, B. acknowledging Africa s unique competitive advantage in the study of radio astronomy, reflected in the extensive existing radio astronomy projects located in Africa (PAPER, VLBI network, MeerKAT, etc.), C. recognising that further European involvement in African radio astronomy can become a powerful driver of socioeconomic growth in Africa and create a new range of market opportunities for both continents,

4 1. Urges the Commission, Council and the parliaments of the Member States to: a) support the development of science capacity in Africa through greater investment in research infrastructures, with particular focus on radio astronomy projects, b) promote the science of radio astronomy and the innovation and research potential of radio astronomy initiatives in future Africa EU partnerships, c) mobilise EU funding mechanisms, including the Framework Programmes and the Development Cooperation Instrument, to support these objectives; 2. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Commission, the Council and the parliaments of the Member States. MEPs supporting AERAP: Maria da Graca Carvalho Fiona Hall Filip Kaczmarek Miguel Angel Martinez Vittorio Prodi Teresa Riera Madurell Judith Sargentini Britta Thomsen Auke Zijlstra

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6 The African European Radio Astronomy Platform Participants ASTRON (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy) Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France CICGE University of Porto, Portugal Coriant (formerly Nokia Siemens Networks), Germany European Industrial Engineering SRL, Italy Gestamp Solar Steel, Spain Ghana Space Science and Technology Centre Ghent University, Belgium Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd., United Kingdom IBM, Netherlands INAF Institute for Radio Astronomy, Italy Institute for Astrophysics Andalucia, Spain Institute for Telecommunications, Portugal International Programme in the Physical Sciences, Sweden JIVE Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe Omnisys Instruments, Sweden Onsala Space Observatory, Sweden Leiden Observatory, Netherlands Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Germany

7 The African European Radio Astronomy Platform Participants NOW (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) RadioNet Rhodes University, South Africa Science & Technology Facilities Council, United Kingdom SKA South Africa University of Leeds, United Kingdom University of Manchester, United Kingdom University of Nairobi, Kenya University of Oxford, United Kingdom University of Zambia VIA SKA, Spain SKA Organisation, United Kingdom University of Cambridge, United Kingdom University of Groningen, Netherlands University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

8 The African European Radio Astronomy Platform Objectives Develop and update agendas for African European cooperation in radio astronomy and related disciplines (ICT, renewable energies, engineering, education, etc.) Strengthen research and innovation in Europe and Africa in radio astronomy and related disciplines Improve knowledge transfer between industry/smes and academia Stimulate competitiveness and socio economic development across both continents and promote science capacity building as a tool for this purpose Utilise EU Africa collaboration in radio astronomy as a platform for broader global partnerships (e.g. with Australia, Asia, USA, etc.) Bring together key players from academia, industry and civil society in Africa and Europe

9 Massive need for data flow, processing and storage Process of scientific image and signal processing in radio astronomy: Removing corrupted data (interferences or faults) Calibrating the antenna s signal to remove the effects of instrumental variation and variations in the line of sight propagation of the radio signal Transforming the data onto a rectangular grid (u v plane) to prepare the analysis of the signals Mathematical calculations to convert the data into a representation of the object s image in the sky and to obtain a clear image For radio telescopes like the Square Kilometre Array, these operations need to be done simultaneously for several hundred antennas as quickly as possible.

10 The Square Kilometre Array A challenge for ICT Sensitive enough to detect an airport radar on a planet 50 light years away SKA central computer has the processing power of about 1 billion PCs 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 operations per sec exaflops (10E18) Enough optical fibre to wrap twice around the Earth SKA dishes will produce 10 times the global internet traffic SKA aperture arrays produce 100 times the global internet traffic Enough raw data to fill 15 million 64 GB ipods every day

11 The Square Kilometre Array A challenge for ICT

12 The Square Kilometre Array A challenge for ICT Needs in terms of data storage: Buffer memory to store interim processing Large data storage sub systems for the processing facility Storage capacities for the final astronomical images that will be distributed to researchers worldwide

13 The Square Kilometre Array An opportunity for Africa The core site of the SKA and the majority share of its components will be situated in Africa huge opportunity to develop the African ICT sector

14 The DOME Project taking full advantage of Big Data IBM and the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) five year collaboration project Objective To design a low power exascale computing system to manage the process of gathering, storing and analyzing data produced by the SKA Every day, the antennas of the SKA telescope will gather 14 exabytes of data and store about one petabyte Scientists estimate that the processing power required to operate the telescope will be equal to 100 million of today s fastest desktop computers The new data processing system will require computers capable of 1000 to 10,000 Petaflops per second processing power The DOME technology project will help build the scientific foundation for the era of cognitive systems.

15 The DOME Project Work packages

16 The DOME Project taking full advantage of Big Data

17 AERAP s Activities in terms of ICT and Big Data ICT and Big Data as one of the thematic priorities of the AERAP Framework Programme for Cooperation Research Infrastructures Instrumentation Research and Development Support for Global Projects ICT and Big Data Human Capital Development Astronomy as a Tool for Science Education and Public Understanding Renewable Energy

18 AERAP s Activities in terms of ICT and Big Data Selection of proposed key actions: Development of cost effective energy efficient computing solutions Boosting the ICT skill base in Africa and the EU using radio astronomy as a training platform Development of networking infrastructure from the Africa based radio astronomy sites to the rest of the world Exploiting ICT developments for the benefit of local population Development of the Big Data Africa EU Programme

19 AERAP s Activities in terms of ICT and Big Data Development of the Big Data Africa EU Programme Establishment of a HPC distributed laboratory using a network of centres of excellence in Africa and Europe as basis of doctoral level training for ICT professionals Initially, three regional centres in HPC technology in Africa which will become part of the HPC distributed laboratory with the focus on skills development in Big Data technologies and techniques

20 AERAP Helpdesk Practical assistance for the building of African European Partnerships Early information on funding opportunities (e.g. Horizon 2020) + advice about the conditions and the application procedure of these Bring together researchers and companies who are interested in radio astronomy cooperation projects by Organising workshops and seminars Facilitating the contact to potential industry partners Facilitating seed funding for proposal coordination meetings between African and European researchers Guidance in writing proposals and contact to successful applicants Advice in legal and financial matters Coming soon: Inventory of European scholarships for African students (Bachelor, Master and PhD level) Contact and further information:

21 Thank you for your attention! Further information on AERAP Contact: Or Declan Kirrane

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