Deluge of astronomical data will soon hit South Africa

The MeerKat array of radio dishes will soon double its capacity.
The expansion of a telescope network creates a thirst for more data-handling expertise and infrastructure.

Data scientists in South Africa are readying themselves for a flood of information that is due to crash over them when the country’s biggest radio telescope doubles the scale of its operations in March.

A terabyte-an-hour data deluge, which would fill more than three DVDs a minute, will flow from a network of radio dishes called the MeerKAT array. Currently consisting of 32 operational dishes, the array will expand to 64 next month.

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