Radio Astronomy in Mexico Luis F. Rodríguez Centro de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, UNAM • Background • Two major projects • SKA? Who/Where we are… • ~130 astronomers at ~7 research centers • ~14 radio astronomers at ~4 research centers UNAM INAOE and others Stan Kurtz David Hughes Yolanda Gomez William Wall Laurent Loinard Eugeni Lekth Luis F. Rodríguez Eduardo Mendoza Salvador Curiel Victor Migenes Jose Antonio Garcia-Barreto Miguel Angel Trinidad Luis Zapata Carlos Rodríguez-Rico • ~2 PhD students per year in radio astronomy Two Major Projects EVLA - Expanded Very Large Array + ALMA – Atacama Large Millimeter Array Centro de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, UNAM LMT - The Large Millimeter Telescope Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Optica y Electrónica EVLA and ALMA • 2 million US$ “mega” project • CONACyT funding, L.F. Rodríguez the P.I. • Despite extensive efforts, no Mexican contractors found; funding won by NRAO • Assures competitive Mexican access to ALMA The Large Millimeter Telescope Largest Mexican science/technology project ever attempted INAOE-UMASS collaboration ~ 80 million US$ spent ~ 20 million US$ still needed Large Millimeter Telescope Testing to start in 2007 Many challenges still in the future Implications for SKA participation • Mexico has a small but active (and growing) radio community with a definite interest in SKA. • Short term prospects for formal participation are complex (rest of science community wants to see results from ELVA+ALMA and from LMT). • Medium and long term prospects are good, most possibly through a one-time financial contribution. Previous Experience Indicates That… • It is highly desirable that funding is spent within Mexico. • Technical innovation and development as a Mexican contribution is quite challenging. A lot of work and organization are needed. Infrastructure is relatively strong. • One-time financial contributions are more viable than long-term commitments.
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