At the end of October 2018 the SKA SDP Consortium submitted its Critical Design Review (CDR) documentation pack. Contained in this were the formal deliverables of the design consortium covering all aspects of the SDP architecture, system engineering and programmatics (the documents are available here). The documents were received by the CDR reviewers (consisting of 3 external members and 15 internal to SKAO) who proceeded to generate clarification questions, requests and notes in the form of observations (called OARs after the Observation Action Register approach commonly used for them). Where possible these were addressed via communication exchanges in JIRA OAR tickets.
From 15th to 19th January 2019 members of the SDP Consortium then visited the SKAO HQ at Jodrell Bank (see figure 1), where direct discussions took place in the new SKAO Council Chamber (see figure 2), to further explore the architecture and identify risks as part of an SEI Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM).
After many years of effort, on 31st October 2018, the SDP Consortium submitted its design documentation for Critical Design Review (CDR). The SDP element already went through a pre-CDR review in June which included an Architecture Tradeoff Anaysis Method (ATAM) to identify risks and gaps with the architecture and examined the readiness of the System Engineering artefacts.
Members of the SKA Organisation and SDP Consortium are in Denver this week attending the annual SuperCompuing conference. This year the conference keynote "Life, the Universe and Computing: The Story of the SKA Telescope" was given by the SKA Director General Phil Diamond, and the SKA Regional Centre Project Scientist Rosie Bolton. The talk gives an excellent introduction to the background of radio astronomy and how and why the SKA project is moving forwards. You can replay it here.