European Radio Astronomers are developing the most versatile, flexible and technologically most advanced concept toward the Square Kilometre Array ("SKA"). Using phased arrays, it allows multiple fields of view in a stand-alone observing instrument or, in its technology scope, is the enabling technology for all other realisations. During this four-year Square Kilometre Array Design Study ("SKADS") the partners will develop a full understanding of all aspects of the array concept relevant to the implementation of the SKA and demonstrate the array's candidacy as a SKA pathfinder within the international SKA planning and budgetary process. Preparing for SKA's next phase, SKADS strengthens the technology basis and the organizational framework of the European SKA Community, involving industry in several key areas and establishes a key role for European radio-astronomy and technology on a global scale. Feasibility Studies within SKADS involve science, technological and architectural aspects on system level through a number of Tasks and Technical Preparatory Work as Tasks for key technology R&D on "tile level" and for performance Demonstrators. The Feasibility Studies map astronomical objectives and requirements onto the system implementation e.g. through simulations, the network design and its infrastructure. The Preparatory Work concerns the technological maturity, technology selection, cost and other relevant considerations as well as proof-of-concept demonstrators and the development of superior subsystems. Together, these tasks constitute a coherent framework allowing critical assessments as input to the final Tasks of SKADS, the Overall Design and the Preliminary SKA Plan. In concluding SKADS, the R&D readiness is addressed, the feasibility of aperture arrays as enabling instrumental approach for future astronomy in the radio band and the feasibility within the planning, siting and costing framework of the international SKA project.
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Funding SchemeDS-SSA - Design studies implemented as Specific Support Actions