SARAO People

Are you interested in astronomy and the exploration of the universe? Do you want to learn more about the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) and its fascinating initiatives? If so, we invite you to share your experience and thoughts by reviewing SARAO on Google!

SARAO, a facility of the National Research Foundation, is responsible for managing all radio astronomy initiatives and facilities in South Africa. Its flagship project, the MeerKAT Radio Telescope in the Karoo, has made significant contributions to the global scientific community, including the discovery of rare and exciting phenomena in the universe.

As a SARAO user or enthusiast, you can help promote and support the organization by sharing your honest opinions and feedback through a Google review. Your review can provide valuable insights for potential visitors, partners, and researchers who are interested in SARAO’s work and facilities.

Writing a review is easy and takes only a few minutes. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Google and search for “South African Radio Astronomy Observatory.”
  2. Click on the “Write a review” button on the right side of the page.
  3. Sign in to your Google account or create a new one.
  4. Rate SARAO by selecting the number of stars you want to give, from 1 to 5.
  5. Write a detailed review, including your experience, thoughts, and suggestions.
  6. Submit your review and share it with the world!

Your review can make a big difference for SARAO and its mission to advance radio astronomy research in South Africa and beyond. So, whether you had a positive or negative experience, we encourage you to share it with us and help us improve our services and facilities.

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to reading your reviews!

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) announces an opportunity to apply for observing time on the MeerKAT telescope.

A minimum of 1,750 hours of telescope time will be awarded through this opportunity. Novel proposal types and observing capabilities are offered in this Call.

MeerKAT consists of 64 dishes with superb sensitivity on baselines of up to 8 km. This Call offers continuum, spectral line, and pulsar/fast transient capabilities employing the UHF (580-1015 MHz), L- (900-1670 MHz), and S-band (1.75-3.5 GHz) receivers.

Instructions, documentation, and the tools required to prepare and submit proposals are available on the MeerKAT Knowledge Base. Proposals are due no later than 12:00 UTC on Tuesday, 3 May 2023.

The HCD schools program held a training as well as the World Robot Olympiad Northern Cape Provincial 2023 Season Launch on the 3-4 March 2023, hosted at Carnarvon High School, Carnarvon, Northern Cape. The aim of the training is to practically equip educators in robotics and to teach the basics of robotics in education (programming and technology at large) in terms of knowledge, skills, and values.

On the launch, it was to share necessary information regarding to the World Robot Olympiad competition and the preparation to participate in the competition. Schools, institutions as well as SARAO staff, that participated in the training were from:

1. Kimberley: Sol Plaatje University
2. Brandvlei: Brandvlei High & Brandvlei Primary
3. Fraserburg: Malherbe Human Intermediate
4. Williston: Nico Bekker Primary & Williston High
5. Van Wyksvlei: Van Wyksvlei Intermediate
6. Loxton: JJ Booysen Primary
7. Carnarvon: Carnarvon High & Carnarvon Primary
8. Secunda: Osizweni Sasol

SARAO/SKA Staff that are usually referees at the competition (Mechanical Engineering team, Stakeholder team, Telescope Maintenance team, IT team, Human Capital Development)

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is pleased to announce the availability of several scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships for the year 2024. SARAO is a leading research institution that plays a critical role in advancing radio astronomy in South Africa and beyond. These opportunities are available to highly motivated individuals who are keen to advance their research careers in radio astronomy.

Click here to view available Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships


The MeerKAT radio telescope produces magnificent images

A High Performance Computing (HPC) system underpins the telescope. These systems provide state of the art performance at a particularly aggressive price point, providing innovative technology solutions.

SARAO is actively seeking partners and commercialisation opportunities within the HPC space, and is well positioned to offer transformative technologies at hitherto unachievable price points.


The following provides some insight into the current and near-term SARAO HPC product portfolio.


Data Storage System – High Capacity (DSS-HC): As deployed in the MeerKAT science archive, this low cost, high capacity storage appliance is designed and manufactured in South Africa and offers significant cost saving over other commercially available solutions. It can also be customized for different applications. Combined with the high performance object storage software layer, large-scale turnkey deployments typically see a two to three times saving over a five year total cost of ownership compared to vendor solutions.

CEPH: CEPH is the software layer that underpins the massive storage deployed in the MeerKAT science archive. A large ecosystem of internally developed products complement the core CEPH architecture to provide a user friendly, easy to maintain solution to Peta-scale storage requirements.

Cascade (in development): Leveraging DSS-HC, Data Storage System – High Speed (DSS-HS) (all flash storage appliance) and the in-development tape library, we plan a fully tiered storage system from memory through to tape that will offer industry leading performance.


IronHive (in development): A ruggedised, embedded computer system based microserver that provides exceptional energy efficiency, avoids the need for expensive data center infrastructure, and provides substantial in-band storage. The market for ruggedised designs is almost completely unserviced at this point, and an ecosystem of ruggedised compute and storage, able to operate in harsh environments, has enormous potential, particularly in the African context.

Efficient Design: Even without radical designs such as IronHive, there is much room for improvement in traditional HPC deployments. Our experience in architecting extremely cost effective and fit for purpose systems, provides a substantial competitive advantage and is a core focus of the systems integration offering.


Tape Library (in development): The last five years has seen a significant resurgence in tape as a cold, energy efficient medium for bulk data storage. Unfortunately many of the benefits of tapes are lost due to the high pricing for the robotised tape libraries and the cost of ongoing licenses. SARAO is well underway with an in-house tape library system, utilising off-the-shelf tape drives, that will realise five to ten times cost savings over a five year ownership period.


Platform Software (existing and in development): In addition to the basic software required to deliver a computer or storage system, there is a multitude of additional services that provide value to the customer. These include monitoring, logging, dashboards, schedulers and resource management. Again, SARAO has a significant catalogue of software products in this realm, and substantial experience to deploy and develop new products.

Applications (ongoing): The group is able to provide software consultancy, for co-design between user application and the delivered hardware to deliver exceptional efficiencies. In these situations we would provide software development effort to port applications and optimise code to suit the target platform.

For more information, contact:
SARAO Head: Engineering

Attention all fellow space enthusiasts and radio astronomy fans!

We would like to extend a warm invitation for you to follow our Facebook page. Our page is a hub for all things related to radio astronomy and the latest developments in the field.

As a leader in the industry, we are dedicated to sharing the latest advancements and exciting discoveries with our followers. Whether you are a professional astronomer, a student, or just have a passion for the cosmos, our page is the perfect place for you to stay informed and connected.

We regularly post updates on the MeerKAT radio telescope and other observatories, as well as the latest scientific results and findings. You will also have access to behind-the-scenes photos and videos, as well as insights into the work that we do.

In addition to our commitment to sharing the latest news, we also value engagement with our followers. Our page is a platform for discussion and exchange of ideas, and we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions with us.

So if you’re looking for a place to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in radio astronomy and connect with like-minded individuals, be sure to follow our company Facebook page. We look forward to seeing you there!

Click here to view our Facebook page

Working in an environment like SARAO and closely linked to the SKAO, a lot of staff members are leading the way in their respective fields – and therefore, have a story to tell. This story could inspire others to follow similar paths and it could even lead to a more scientifically literate society! You have to power to be the change!

Please complete the short questionnaire to indicate where you would be interested to contribute, your information will be used only for SARAO purposes and in compliance with the POPI Act.

Please see the link to the questionnaire:

Kind regards
The SARAO Science Engagement Team

Give feedback about the SARAO website, If you can’t find what you’re looking for, land on a broken link or have a general comment, please let us know by using the form below.

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) has awarded its 2023 Group Achievement Award to the MeerKAT team. In its citation, the RAS recognised the MeerKAT team “for a series of spectacular observations in radio astronomy, the highlight being the images of the Galactic Centre region and the spectacular radio bubbles. In addition, the MeerKAT team has supported the development of science and technology in Africa and stress-tested technology for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).”

Daily updates and latest findings on the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory facilities, science and the latest news from SARAO.

News and views, FAQs and experts – see our accounts.

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