Partner of the ENGAGE SKA project, Altice Portugal will install optical fiber to the Fajão-Porto da Balsa Radio Station, from the Telecommunications Institute, allowing scientists to operate the Portuguese antenna that will contribute to the project.
This antenna was recovered from an installation of Altice Portugal in the Azores and placed in Pampilhosa da Serra, with the support of the City Council of the region, being the active, along with the Data Center of Covilhã, which places Portugal on the map of the international project SKA (Square Kilometer Array), the first transcontinental radio telescope. At the international level, the SKA will add, in a first phase, 200 satellite dishes and almost 130 thousand dipole antennas, expanding in future to more than 2 thousand satellite dishes and almost 1 million dipoles.
For Domingos Barbosa, a researcher at the Telecommunications Institute and responsible for the SKA Project in Portugal, "Altice Portugal has been a key partner in this path for Portugal to be considered on the SKA project map. Not only has the antenna been recovered, allowing it to be a test platform for the 2,000 antennas of the largest radio telescope in the world, but now this fiber optic installation is assumed to be vital to the operation of the same".
Wi-Fi connections put the operations of the Pampilhosa da Serra radio telescope at risk, requiring the connection with the latest generation optical fiber at this station. It is recalled that Altice Portugal has invested in fiber optic infrastructure in the villages of the county, and has now added the link to the Radio Astronomy Station of Porto da Balsa.
"It is a great pride for Altice Portugal to be able to contribute in a clear way, through the extension of optical fiber to the Radioastronomical Station, in order to make feasible the observations from Portugal. This is further evidence of our commitment to promoting and supporting innovation, technology and science, "says Luís Alveirinho, Chief Technology Officer at Altice Portugal.
The President of Altice Portugal, Alexandre Fonseca, underscores the importance of the infrastructure project throughout the country in fiber optics by 2020. "The fact that the localities and places of the county are already all linked with fiber optics allows the extension to the Radioastronomical Station is possible and it is done quickly. Moments like this give us the certainty that we are moving in the right direction: of progress, of innovation, of the latest technology".
The SKA project is of great importance for Portugal, putting the country on the map of the largest international project regarding celestial observation and study of the stars. "Altice Portugal has its Covilhã Data Center mapped to store and process part of the SKA project data, an international recognition that fills us with pride", admits the CEO.
Portugal has taken on a significant role in this project and is working to become a member of SKA, collaborating at the level of science, innovation and industry. Portuguese scientists are involved in the investigation of Cosmology, Evolution of Galaxies, Solar Physics and Origin of the Solar System.
The Portuguese participation in the development of SKA is made up of a consortium that brings together the Telecommunication Institute (Polo de Aveiro), the Polytechnic Institute of Beja and the universities of Aveiro, Porto and Évora, through the ENGAGE SKA Infrastructure, with support from the TICE.PT 'cluster'. ENGAGE SKA aims to empower national industries and universities with an infrastructure to support their innovation activities. In the short term, a number of sky-observation experiments on NEOs, synchrotron radiation, lunar reflection communication, and space-bed (radar) mapping pilots will be made.
Altice's Data Center is mapped on the digital infrastructures that will serve the project. The way the Data Center and the national academic data network are connected is still going on, and it may take about two years to complete the detailed mapping of the activities. Currently, Altice Data Center in Covilhã has more than 300 employees, is the largest data center in Portugal and one of the ten largest in the world. The involvement of this Data Center in the SKA project is further proof of its international recognition.
(Translation performed by Google)