Square Kilometre Array (SKA)

Low noise temperature aperture array front-end design

Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the next generation radio telescope, is under development. Mid-Frequency Aperture Array (MFAA) Consortium had been established to develop and design the Aperture Array technology for SKA.


Octagonal Ring Antenna (ORA)

ORA developed at the School is one of the candidate antennas for the MFAA technology. The ORA is 

  • a novel and potentially breakthrough technology using a planar, easily fabricated, structure
  • designed to be a low cost, low loss, wideband array
  • dual polarised and operates at wide scan angles.

Research focus

The research activities involve development of

  • broad band large scale low noise phased array antennas
  • low noise front-ends for radio astronomy application

Key applications

Applications of ORA are

  • communications
  • radar industry
  • radio astronomy
  • improved high data rate communication
  • multifunctionality of services
  • higher resolution imaging for small objects.

Research highlights

The properties of the patented ORA include:

  • Simple planar structure using low cost manufacturing techniques
  • Stable cross polarisation
  • Wide scan angle with a stable scan pattern
  • Differential or single-ended feed
  • Wide Band Array Antenna patent-GB2469075A, WO2010/112857A1


Research grants

List of grants from 2007


Prof Tony BrownDr David Zhang, Dr Ming Yang, Dr Ahmed El-Makadema

Please contact academic staff for further information.


The project is run in collaboration with

SKAO, ASTRON, SELEX Galileo, Trackwise, Sarentel, Cambridge Consultant, KLAASA.

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