European Radio Astronomy Engineering Forum
The RadioNet facilities operate throughout Europe and in Hawaii and make observations of the universe at frequencies spread across the entire radio spectrum. In order to make these observations successfully, there is a need to constantly develop the hardware and software and to devise new techniques to improve sensitivity, observing efficiency, and to combat the effects of ever-increasing man-made interference. The RadioNetobservatories and institutes face common challenges and already have a modest level of ad-hoc collaboration in some areas aimed at developing common solutions.
RadioNet previous activities within FP5 focused on improving the communication, management and training of engineers participating in the specific area of VLBI operations. A very successful programme was implemented and the intention of this much broader Engineering Forum is to build on this success. An expansion of RadioNet's activities in this area is especially appropriate as a major goal of this Integrating Activity is to expand the Transnational Access Programme to include many other European telescopes and interferometers, in addition to the EVN. One goal of this forum is thus aimed at providing a more formal basis for collaboration between the various European groups who are involved in the use and the provision of hardware and on-line software for radio astronomy quite generally.
Techniques and equipment required for modern radio astronomy often have wide application in industry and in other branches of scientific research. Some RadioNet institutes (e.g. ASTRON) have been remarakably successful in engaging local industry in the potential of capitalizing commercially on the fundamental developments that currently characterize front-line research in radio astronomy communication, receiver and correlation techniques. Part of the goal of this forum would be to see how many other radio astronomy developments across Europe could be of interest to commercial and industrial applications. This Networking Activity would seek to provide a forum for engineers involved in the development of radio astronomy hardware and on-line software, to discuss the wider application of their work on a European and industrial scale.
Specific objectives are as follows:
- Ensure that the diverse and high-level expertise shared within RadioNet is made available to all the major European Radio Astronomy Institutes,
- Isolate common technical challenges around the network and identify pre-existing solutions or possible methodologies,
- Development of collaborative projects, building on the strength of various RadioNet institutes in particular areas of technological development,
- Development of links with industrial, commercial and related scientific groups within Europe
- Reducing costs by sharing information and benefiting from economies of scale.
- Report of EVN TOG Meeting - Wettzell, Germany, April 1-2 2004
- See also the Station and Correlator Reports for this meeting.
More information can be found on the wiki page EngineeringForumWikiPage.