Hundreds of international scientists and engineers have visited a big dish in the desert of WA.

More than 250 experts attended the 2014 SKA Engineering Meeting; an important milestone for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

WA Premier Colin Barnett opened the latest phase of construction work on the huge satellite array this week.

He said “a mega-science project like the SKA is only possible through collaboration on a worldwide scale”.

“It is wonderful to see so many countries, industry leaders, scientists and engineers represented at this meeting,” Mr Barnett said.

“The SKA is a new frontier in science and its success will depend on scientists working together with industry to develop new technologies on an unprecedented scale.”

The SKA project will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, allowing scientists to see the universe in entirely new ways.

As part of the international project, WA will house two SKA phase one telescopes, each with around 250,000 low frequency antennas and 96 large mid-frequency dishes.

The SKA’s pre-construction phase has involved design work by 11 international nations to make sure the telescope is suitable for construction by 2018.

“The SKA is a wonderful opportunity to display WA’s science and engineering capabilities. We have built a world-class radio astronomy base here and I hope everyone involved in this meeting will be back in WA in the future as the project develops,” Mr Barnett added.