On June 1st Spain became the 11th member of the Square Kilometre Array Organization, culminating several years of work by the Spanish community. SKA will transform our understanding of the Universe and our scientists and engineers will be part of it. It is now crucial to take forward this effort to get positioned both to play a major role in the scientific exploitation of the SKA, and to maintain the leadership of the developments performed during the design phase and compete for a maximum technological return in SKA Construction.



AMIGA7 will span a pivotal period in SKAs timeline ranging from the end of SKA1 design to its construction, with existing precursors and pathfinders playing a crucial role as testbed for SKA science and Big Data challenges. AMIGA has long been aware that SKAs biggest challenge is the capacity necessary to handle the data (transport, storage, reduction and advanced analysis), and that the teams able to lead the Key Science Projects must prepare not only for the physical interpretation of the data, but to face the associated challenges.



Hence, AMIGA7s strategy has been to establish a multidisciplinary collaboration, started in AMIGA5, complementing fundamental science with applied research to the SKA data flow, working for SKA Big Data science to become Open Science, and in doing so provide support for AMIGA7’s science goals, summarized below.
We will focus on the survival and destruction of gas in extreme galaxy environments as probes of relevant physical processes in galaxy evolution. The main questions we aim to address are:


– Can isolated HI-bearing UDGs (HUDs) retain their gas, or are they transiently gas-rich? What, if any, is their connection to red, cluster UDGs?
– What is the origin of residual gas asymmetries in isolated galaxies?
– What is the role of angular momentum in regulating HI content in isolated galaxies?
– What drives the evolution of Compact Groups? The role of gas and magnetic fields.

To fulfil these goals, aligned with those prioritised for SKA1, we will use our own data from SKA pathfinders (JVLA, GMRT), as well as by participating in WEAVE-Apertif, the MeerKAT surveys MHONGOOSE and MIGHTEE, through collaboration with WALLABY (ASKAP Survey), and with data from the LOFAR Tier1 survey.


From the technological point of view we will continue playing a significant role in the design of the SKA elements as members of the corresponding consortia involved in the data-flow, and contribute to key initiatives for the SKA project, including bridging activities towards SKA construction, H2020 projects and relevant committees. This will also support Spanish industry to position itself in strategic areas aligned with the highest priority contracts in the response from Spain to the SKA Construction Request for Information issued by the SKAO in 2018. The main areas covered by the 3 subprojects will be

  • Signal and Data Transport (SaDT): Enhancing the SaDT timing design and the timing network deployment, improving the competitive advantage of Spain in this area for the construction stage.
  • Hardware data processing: optimization and synthesis methods to achieve high-performance FPGA implementations used in the Central Signal Processor and in the SKA Regional Centres
  • Science Data Processing and Open Science: Addressing big data processing and analytics in astronomy and facilitating astronomers to build methods according to the Open Science principles, on the pathway to the SKA.

AMIGA7 combines scientific studies in which has long term expertise (the study of HI) with the incorporation of new members allowing to study the low surface brightness of AMIGA sample or the impact of magnetic fields in dense group evolution. Those are part of SKA1 prioritized goals. The combination with the technological participation in SKA supports a direct participation in translating science cases into requirements, putting us in a privileged position for SKA exploitation. In fact, AMIGA7 developments are essential to get positioned to compete at the highest level in the scientific exploitation and construction of the SKA by triggering Science-Industry linkages. They will also provide a competitive advantage for Spanish industry as they are aligned to the contracts that had the highest priority in the response from Spain to the SKA Construction Request for Information issued by the SKAO in 2018.


The project impacts on areas of interest under the Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2013-2020, Horizon 2020 programs and the upcoming FP9 Horizon Europe (2012-2027). Technologically, the projects propose ICT innovations of social impact, as high-speed data distribution, reliable signal transport to remote environments, state-of-the-art FPGA designs for massive signal processing, low-power heterogeneous computing or Open Science.

AMIGA7 will impact on SKA design through our contributions to SaDT, CSP and SDP elements, providing tools to face challenges in Big Data, Open Science, HPC computing and hardware development, easing Big Data management and processing. AMIGA team is championg the Open Science initative within SKA and LV is the Spanish Science Director in the SKA Board. AMIGA7 will also impact at other levels of the SKA through our collaboration agreement with IDIA and our membership in techincal, scientific and governance SKA committees. The AMIGA7 technological designs can be applied directly to other major infrastructures.


Beyond SKA, AMIGA7 will impact in other ESFRI projects and European Research infrastructures through our participation in ASTERICS and ESCAPE H2020 projects. SaDT works open the door to research activities related with aerospace (e.g. EU Satellites like Galileo).


Even more, there are applications based on distribution of timing and optical patterns for metrology. It is expected that SaDT works will impact on SKA pathfinders and the collaboration with AMIGA will help to apply its expertise in timing to develop Open Science technologies. E-Science tools support the preservation of the scientific methodology, improve access to data/methods and raise efficiency in the research field. These will be connected to ESCAPE Science Analysis platform, maximizing the impact in the community. The VO developments will have an impact on the whole community. Following EU 2018/790 recommendation, AMIGA7 will contribute to standards for data and services, guaranteeing their interoperability with EOSC and contributing to the promotion of scientific discovery and collaboration across disciplines and countries, and sharing of scientific information.


The collaboration between UPM and AMIGA opens the opportunity to contribute to the challenge of low-power high-performance computing. Spin off innovations in these areas will benefit other systems that process scientific algorithms that classify or iteratively process large unstructured datasets with impact on other areas like artificial intelligence.