The world’s largest radio telescope

The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Manchester has undertaken front-end design and development of a novel and potentially breakthrough technology for an international project to build the world’s largest radio telescope. The telescope, to be located in the deserts of Australia and South Africa, will probe the beginnings of the universe to help advance understanding of galaxy formation and evolution. The University was finding that its enabling technology was difficult to describe to people, especially companies who will be involved in building the telescope. HTP were invited to explore ways of bringing alive the technology through computer-generated visualisation and animation.

The challenge

The animation had to get across in a minute what lengthy CAD presentations and explanations had so far failed to achieve.

HTP response

We developed an animation sequence that shows an ultra-realistic, sequential build-up of the technology’s construction against a real desert background. This is to scale and clearly demonstrates the different layers of work involved in the construction process.

The sequence was a collaborative exercise carried out in conjunction with the project’s lead researcher, who was responsible for making presentations on the nature of the technology.


A 30-second explanation that graphically gets across the scope and concept of the project in a way that couldn’t be achieved by other means. Feedback on the sequence has been extremely positive, with audiences who have seen it quickly grasping what they had previously struggled to understand.

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