Designing the SKA – Assembly, Integration and Verification

AIV is assembly, integration and verification AIV covers everything, covers all the subsystems that the telescopes are composed of so it’s both hardware and software We’ve been tasked to plan the verification of both the SKA-mid and the SKA-low telescopes as well as planning the integration of the
MeerKAT precursor into the SKA-mid telescope The key word here is complexity In the past you could build something put it together and it would work Nowadays these large facilities have become
so complex that it’s very risky to do it just in the classical way It is beyond the scope of individual or individuals
and system engineering like AIV becomes very, very important So we need to assemble these subsystems, integrate
them so they act as a whole and then we have to verify that they fulfil
the system requirements SKA is supposed to give you a breakthrough in science and unless it meets the required specifications
and sensitivity levels you won’t be able to deliver that quality science so verification is an important process in that I’ve not yet seen – there might be other projects but I’ve not yet seen that level of detail and rigour for AIV advanced planning in other projects There’s a huge amount of work – if you
can imagine that there’s approximately I think about 650 system level requirements, all of those need to be verified We need to discover issues or problems very early and before we ship all the things to the site Imagine you have everything ready except a
piece, but it’s a critical piece so you cannot use the system because you’re
missing a critical piece so you cannot move forward So you have to keep an eye on
how things come together how you can make an effective integration
of everything, a timely integration as well We’re currently just six people in the consortium We’ve got three member organisations in
the consortium SARAO in South Africa who’s leading the consortium CSIRO in Australia and ASTRON in the Netherlands One of the biggest strengths of this approach
was that people are located very close to the precursor for example in South Africa
or similar or have expertise in-house at their institutes Well I would really like to thank the consortium
members As I mentioned it’s a small team, they’ve
worked really hard, consistent over quite a few years delivering a huge amount of beneficial work
for the SKA project After System CDR we are moving towards procurement
and towards construction where really all the planning that AIV did
are essential

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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