The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be a revolutionary new instrument at centimetre and metre radio wavelengths, with an effective collecting area more than 30 times greater than Arecibo and 100 times greater than the current VLA. Vigorous technological developments in computing and radio frequency devices make it possible for such a telescope, with one million square metres of collecting area, to be built by 2020. Such a telescope will be a discovery instrument with exquisite sensitivity, able to survey large scale structure in the very early universe as well as pinpoint the details of radio emission near massive black holes in active galactic nuclei.
The workshop will bring together astronomers around the world who are engaged in revising the science case for the Square Kilometre Array for an intensive period of interaction on the science goals, first results of simulations of the deep radio sky, and plans for further work. Primary areas of the science case include cosmology and large scale structure; galaxy formation; life cycle of stars; super-massive black holes and the AGN environment; transients, stellar end products, and SETI; our own and nearby galaxies; astrometry, geodesy and spacecraft navigation; and solar system science.
The outcome of the workshop is expected to be a clear direction for future work on the science case leading to publication as a book, and input to a major symposium in May 2004 in Berlin on "Exploring the Cosmic Frontier: Astrophysical Instruments for the 21st Century". This symposium will explore the synergies of the various large instruments, approved and planned, in answering the main questions in astronomy and astrophysics. In addition the revised science case for the SKA will serve as the basis for a new version of the User Requirements Document for the project as a whole.