CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope is due to start operations next year, with all 36 dishes now on site in the mid-west region of Western Australia.


"By mid-2013, ASKAP will be the world's foremost survey radio telescope being able to survey large areas of the sky with unprecedented speed,” Minister for Science Senator Chris Evans said.


"The completion of the ASKAP telescope will confirm Australia's standing as world-leaders in the field of radio astronomy.”


The dishes will be equipped with Australian designed and built smart electronic and information communications technology, developed with the help of Dr John O'Sullivan who invented the technology at the heart of WiFi.


The groundbreaking CSIRO-developed Phased Array Feed (PAF) 'radio cameras' will enable ASKAP to survey the sky 100 times faster than any previous radio telescope.


"This is the kind of project that really demonstrates Australia's world class capability to successfully deliver significant science infrastructure," Senator Evans said. 


The installation of the array comes after construction of the Square Kilometre Arraay was split between South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Phase 1 of the array will be due for completion by 2020, and will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope.