SKA can help uplift Mozambique, says Vice Minister

Participation as an African partner country, with South Africa, in the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope programme is important to Mozambique, the country’s Vice Minister for Science, Technology, Higher and Professional Education, Leda Hugo, told Engineering News Online. “It is important for it gives us the possibility to uplift our country through science, technology and innovation, in coordination with other African countries and in a global environment,” she said.

The country is already making preparations. “We have several programmes of training, some [of them] post-graduate programmes. At this stage, all of them are outside of the country, including in South Africa,” she reported. “We are building a technical team to take responsibility for this programme, altogether with another Centre we have, an ICT [information and communications technology] park in our country. The main focus is on training young Mozambicans for this science, including post-graduate degrees.”

The country is identifying possible sites for outstations for Phase 2 of the SKA (outstations from the South African core, in the Karoo region). It already has a programme to benefit the rural communities situated near the outstations.
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Join ARM and Inveneo’s Micro-Data Center Design Challenge to Win $10,000

Group of young people in training course

Looking for a way to change the ICT world? Join Inveneo’s newest competition: to design an ultra-efficient small-scale data center! Inveneo, in partnership with ARM Limited, is launching a solar powered Micro-Data Center Design Challenge, starting today.

Inveneo is looking for engineers, researchers, and students to submit innovative designs. The top prize for the competition is $10,000 and the winning design will be built and deployed in the developing world.

Given the harsh environments present in much of the developing world, designers will need to create a functional micro-data center that can be powered with a solar photovoltaic system, withstand intense heat and humidity, and run completely without access to standard air conditioning.

Candidates will use ARM based solutions to create the “micro-board chassis” design that will use off-the-shelf ARM based processor micro boards (i.e. Raspberry Pi, Banana Pi/Pro, ODROID, etc.). Inveneo has partnered with LeMaker, which is offering a discounted 15 Banana Pro kit that can be used to build a prototype micro-board chassis.

“We envision a new type of blade server enclosure design. The design will use 15 of these new generation microcomputer boards and will be very low energy usage, DC powered, and passively cooled,” says Bruce Baikie, Executive Director of Inveneo. “Just as BackBlaze changed the low end storage market with their open source design, we are planning to revolutionize the low end blade server market with this challenge.”

The contest is open to applicants who are at least 18 years of age, in teams that range from three to seven members. The contest’s panel of judges includes industry experts from Inveneo, ARM, and LeMaker, among others. The top two winning designs will be announced on July 15, 2015. Please note that the winning designs will be considered open source for anyone to use in the future.

If you are interested in entering this design challenge or to find more information, please visit Inveneo’s website or start the application here.

Have questions? Please email Inveneo for more information. Best of luck!


Go to Source. Reprinted from ICTWorks

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SA radar sector has marked a major milestone in its history

Late last year the South African electronics industry, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the South African National Defence Force, the Air Traffic and Navigation Services and other institutions celebrated the 75th anniversary of radar in this country. On December 16, 1939, the first South African-built radar was successfully operated for the first time.
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Go-ahead given for next phase of the SKA

The international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project will now enter its final preconstruction phase. This decision has been taken unanimously by the SKA board of directors and was announced on Monday by the SKA Organisation, which is responsible for leading the project and is based at the Jodrell Bank Observatory near Manchester in the UK. The SKA is currently in its design phase.

The first phase of the SKA, known as SKA1, is budgeted at €650-million and will result in the creation of two complementary instruments, one each in South Africa and Australia. The South African instrument will be composed of some 200 dishes, will operate in the 350 MHz to 14 GHz frequency range and is known as SKA1 Mid. The Australian instrument will comprise more than 100 000 (perhaps as many as 130 000) dipole antennas, will operate in the 50 MHz to 350 MHz frequency range and is called SKA1 Low.
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Necsa develops new process to produce a key modern industrial gas

The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is expanding its technology portfolio of speciality gases. (Necsa subsidiary Pelchem has long been renowned for its production of fluorochemicals, including gases and acids.) Not only is the group adding production capabilities for a new product but, perhaps even more importantly, it has developed a new way to produce it, which also increases the purity of the product, while reducing costs.
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Innovative W Cape entrepreneurs awarded R6.2m

Twelve innovative entrepreneurs in the Western Cape have secured total funding of R6.5-million from the Design Innovation Seed Fund to take their ideas to the market. Launched last year, the seed fund was a joint partmership between the Western Cape’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the Technology Innovation Agency.
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