RadioNet Joint Research Activities
The ability to perform world-class research is predicated upon the ideas and inspiration of scientists and the implementation of those ideas by talented engineers. European radio astronomy has, over the years, maintained its front-rank status by the appointment of top-quality engineers and by the development of their skills. This combination of scientific and engineering talent allows the European radio observatories and institutes to play key and crucial roles in the current radio astronomy revolution, for example: the technology for ALMA and APEX at mm/submm-wavelengths; the development and implementation of broadband digital data transmission techniques for e-MERLIN, e-EVN, LOFAR and ALMA using both dedicated and public networks; the multi-beaming technologies being developed for FP5 FARADAY, LOFAR and for the Square Kilometre Array.
The JRAs provide an excellent opportunity to harness those skills to improve the quality and quantity of access to existing facilities. This will have an immediate impact, while on the longer term the experience will deepen the skill-base on which European institutes can rely in competing for new astronomical instrumentation in the future, and ensure that those skills stay in Europe.
The consortium is proposing 3 key joint research activities (JRA). These are:
- ALBUS: Advanced long baseline user software
- AMSTAR: Advanced Millimetre and Submillimetre Technology for Astronomical Research
- PHAROS: Phased Arrays for Reflector Observing Systems
These activities are aimed primarily at developing and significantly improving the existing facilities through improvement in the equipment and capabilities of the telescopes, and in the interaction that users have with them.