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Advanced Radio Astronomy in Europe

       An I3 funded by the EU through FP6

                    Alastair G Gunn

              University of Manchester
              Jodrell Bank Observatory

  OPTICON BOARD MEETING – 11th/12th October 2004, Grenoble
                            RadioNet Partners & Mission

• RadioNet has 20 partners: all of the
  major radio astronomy facilities and
  the laboratories involved in technology

• Coordinated by the University of
  Manchester, UK

• Remit is to support the European radio
  astronomy community and to enhance
  the European radio astronomy facilities

• RadioNet was awarded €12.4M
                         The Telescopes & Trans-National Access 1

• Europe has some of the largest and most sophisticated radio
  telescopes on Earth. These facilities are working together more
  closely than ever under the RadioNet umbrella.
                       The Telescopes & Trans-National Access 2

• Telescopes:
   – European VLBI Network (EVN) is the most sensitive VLBI array
     on Earth. Has three telescopes in 70-100 m class and more
     are being built – 64-m in Sardinia, IT (2006), 40-m at Yebes,
     ES (2004);
   – IRAM: runs Plateau de Bure (FR) (progenitor of ALMA) and
     Pico Veleta (ES: largest mm dish in world);
   – JCMT in Hawaii, largest sub-mm capable dish in the world;
   – MERLIN: UK’s 7-telescope array, has the same resolution in
     the radio as the HST; being upgraded using fibre optic cables.
   – MPIfR – Effelsberg (DE) 100-m; 2nd largest steerable dish in
     the world;
   – OSO-20m; highly capable mm dish in Sweden;
   – WSRT – recently upgraded, 14 –element interferometer in NL
                    Science with RadioNet Facilities: MERLIN & EVN

• MERLIN is the UK’s radio
  imaging camera: provides                    M82: MERLIN
  radio images with the
  same level of detail as the
  Hubble Space Telescope
  does in the optical

• MERLIN image of nearby
  galaxy M82 shows ~50
  bright spots  supernovae

• The European VLBI
  Network (EVN) provides a
  zoom capability for more
  detailed studies of these
                            Science with RadioNet Facilities: WSRT

• Westerbork Synthesis                   HI
Radio Telescope (WSRT)
in the Netherlands is the
premier instrument for
studies of HI, the most
abundant material in the
• Optical image of M31
compared with WSRT
image of HI in the same
                         Science with RadioNet Facilities: JCMT

• James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) in Hawaii,
  with SCUBA, has demonstrated the power of sub-
  mm science. Has been a crucial pathfinder for the
  Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA).
• Cosmology. Observe dusty, star-forming galaxies in
  early Universe. SCUBA has found > 100 sub-mm
• Star-formation: SCUBA probes through the
  obscuring dust/gas to reveal
  the details underneath
• Planets: SCUBA shows us a
  dusty debris disk around
  Epsilon Eridani
                        RadioNet Joint Research Activities (JRAs)

• RadioNet has three JRAS, developing the future technology and software
  for radio astronomy:

   – ALBUS: Advanced Long-Baseline User Software
      developing advanced software for interferometers
   – AMSTAR: Advanced mm and sub-mm Technology for Astronomical
      developing new mm-wave devices
   – PHAROS: Phased Arrays for Reflector Observing Systems
      developing focal plane phased-arrays

   • These developments will be crucial for
     the construction of ALMA and the SKA.                   SKA

                              RadioNet Networking Activities (NAs)

•   RadioNet has six NAs, linking the scientists, engineers and the next
    generation of researchers:

    - Synergy
         integrating facility access across Europe
    - Science Workshops and Training Group
         dissemination of science and the training of young researchers
    - European Radio Astronomy Engineering Forum
         forum for RadioNet engineers
    - Software & Users Forum
         forum for software developers and users
    - ALMA Forum
         maximise European potential from ALMA
    - Astronomy across Europe
         linking the community
    - Radio Frequency Management
         solutions to radio frequency interference
                                      RadioNet Highlights

•   RadioNet Mid-Year Report available on website


•   Good progress has been made in all areas in the 1st year of RadioNet

•   Five RadioNet-funded science meetings have been held in 2004
          - Dense Molecular Gas around Protostars and Galactic Nuclei
          - Exploring the Cosmic Frontier: Astrophysical Instruments for the
            21st Century
          - Multiwavelength Approaches to AGNs
          - 7th EVN Symposium
          - Young European Radio Astronomers Conference (YERAC)

•   2nd RadioNet Board Meeting to be held at JBO on 17th November 2004
                               Strategic Issues

• RadioNet is not enough!
      the future of radio astronomy in Europe seems to require a
      legal organisation, or ‘foundation’, that is small and efficient
      but draws on the skills of other institutes

• Coordinated Outreach Programmes
      RadioNet would like to collaborate more closely with
      OPTICON and ILIAS in outreach programmes

• I3 Forum (12th November 2004, Brussels)
       RadioNet would like to ask OPTICON whether they consider
       that, under FP7, there are benefits to be had from a joint,
       spectrum-wide astronomy proposal

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