Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA) is a partnership of South African universities and industry created to respond to the emerging challenge of the new era of big data in astronomy. Together, the partner universities established a computational facility that is data-centric and based on cloud technology. This is the IDIA Data Intensive Astronomy Cloud Facility.

The IDIA Facility is designed specifically for data-intensive computation in astronomy with a focus on the large science programmes of the South African MeerKAT radio telescope, which is a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array.

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The IDIA facility is dedicated to storing, processing and analysing astronomy data arising from the SKA precursor, MeerKAT, and other SKA pathfinder projects. The facility prioritises MeerKAT projects that are led by or include significant participation by researchers from South Africa belonging to one of the IDIA partner instituitons. 

MeerKAT Large Projects with participation from IDIA currently include LADUMA, MIGHTEE, MONGHOOSE, Fornax, ThunderKAT and the related MeerLICHT project. It is open for use by large survey projects from South Africa outside of IDIA and to international collaborators, subject to agreement and provision of resources.

Visit the IDIA website to find out more


Launched in 2015, the IDIA university partners are

  • UCT
  • the University of the Western Cape
  • North-West University
  • the University of Pretoria.

And SAP Software Solutions has joined as an industry partner.