Qamcom continues its odyssey with SKAO to unveil the secrets of the universe

– as Qamcom is awarded a new extended and expanded contract

September 5, 2023

The Swedish technology company, Qamcom, has been granted a new extended and expanded contract by the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO). SKAO is a global initiative to build and operate the two largest radio telescopes in the world, located in Australia and South Africa. The purpose is to transform our understanding of the Universe and deliver benefits to society through global collaboration and innovation. Qamcom’s responsibility has been extended from hardware development to systems responsibility for a complete subsystem, drawing upon the full capabilities of the company, from systems engineering and electronics development to project and production management as well as verification, installation and integration. This is the first contract awarded by the SKAO to a Swedish company, as part of the commitment of the Observatory to ensure industrial return for each member’s industries.

Removing the haystack from the needle

Qamcom’s mission is to create and produce a subsystem for the SKA-Mid telescope (the one located in South Africa) that will transform analog radio signals coming from space into amplified and clean digital signals – including filter out all non-essential data and reduce external and internal noise. Given the distances involved, interferences, and the vast amount of data, it can be likened to removing haystacks from needles. The purpose is to provide relevant information, enhance quality, and streamline analysis through exceptionally advanced signal processing. The subsystem is called Single Pixel Feed Receivers for Bands 1,2 and 3 (SPFRx123). Towards the end of the decade, when the subsystem is installed and the telescope operational, researchers will be able to gaze into the universe at four times higher resolution, with five times higher sensitivity and 60 times faster than the currently most advanced radio telescope in the world.

“We consider this prestigious assignment to be a tremendous honor, not only for Qamcom but also for Sweden as a whole, positioning us on the global map as a forefront technology provider in the science context. The extended and expanded scope of the project stands as a testament to our ability to instill trust and meet the demand for world-class expertise, as demonstrated through our prior collaboration with SKAO, via Chalmers Industriteknik and Onsala Space Observatory. We eagerly anticipate shoulder