Science Processing Centres

The SKA Observatory will operate two Science Processing Centres or SPCs, one in Cape Town, South Africa, and the other in Perth, Western Australia. These high-performance computing centres will host the SKAO’s Central Signal Processors (CSPs) and the Science Data Processors or SDPs, two powerful supercomputers.
Pawsey Centre

The CSPs are composed of: 

  • The correlator and array-level beamformer which combines the signals coming from different stations to prepare them for imaging, and to point with more accuracy to multiple directions on the sky.
  • The pulsars search and timing engines search these multiple directions for pulsars and other transient phenomena and also time them accurately.

To process the enormous volumes of data the CSPs will produce, the two SDP supercomputers will each have a processing speed of ~135 PFlops, which would place them in the top five of the fastest supercomputers on Earth in 2022! (Source: Top500; June 2022).

The SKA-Low SPC will be located in the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth and will include the Science Data Processor (SDP): A 130PFLOPS supercomputer flags and calibrates the data in preparation for imaging using state-of-the-art computer code. The SDP also creates 3D images called data 'cubes' (2 spatial dimensions plus velocity or 'depth'). At 50,000 pixels across, each cube will contain 1 petabyte of data.

Last modified on 01 July 2022