What is RadioNet?
RadioNet is an Integrated Infrastructure Initiative (I3), funded under the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), that has pulled together all of Europe's leading astronomy facilities to produce a focused, coherent and integrated project that will significantly enhance the quality and quantity of science performed by European astronomers. RadioNet has 24 partners. They range from operators of radio telescope facilities to laboratories that specialize in micro-electronics, MMIC design and superconducting component fabrication.
RadioNet Mid-Term Review
On 11-12 April 2007, the Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique (IRAM) in Grenoble, France, hosted the RadioNet Consortium Board for its regular meeting No. 7 followed by the Mid-Term Review. The latter probably should be called the "two-thirds" review as the RadioNet project is now in a rather mature age of 39 months (of the total project life-span of 60 months). The meetings reviewed the current status of al components of RadioNet. The Board meeting charted the development of the RadioNet through its completion over the next 20 months. The Mid-Term Review was conducted by the EC Project Officer E. Righi-Steele and External Expert Prof. J. Marcaide (University of Valencia, Spain). The RadioNet Officers, members of the Board and leaders of all three RadioNet JRA’s presented the "triad" of RadioNet activities: Trans-National Access, Joint Research Activities and Networking. In addition to verbal presentations, the three RadioNet JRA’s offered "live" demonstrations: a real-time ParselTongue run representing ALBUS and an exhibition of hardware developed under the AMSTAR and PHAROS JRA’s. The participants of the meeting left IRAM with a clear sense that the exam had been passed. Indeed, a few days later, the RadioNet Coordinator was notified by the EC Research Directorate that the project had scored the highest possible mark, "good to excellent". Congratulations to the RadioNet community!
The 7th RadioNet Board Meeting will take place in Grenoble France on 11th April 2006. On the next day on 12th April, RadioNet's mid term review will be held. The details for both meetings and a registration form can be found here.
Very promising results have been achieved with the PHAROS Focal Plane Array prototype. A test run on the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT, The Netherlands) demonstrated a full match between simulations and measurements, leading to an understanding of the complex aspects of beam synthesis with an array of antenna elements.
The figure gives the amplitude illumination of the dish, indicating good illumination efficiency combined with low spill-over losses and noise. The measured prototype, build with of the shelf components operating at 300 K, will be superseded by the final PHAROS demonstrator, a fully tailored 20 K design with four beams.