Engineering Forum

The communication, training and scientific interaction among engineers involved in the development and operation of Radio Astronomy instruments represent a key issue in keeping these facilities at a world-leading technical level.

While several opportunities for dissemination and training are possible for radio astronomy scientists and guaranteed by the scientific community, radio astronomy engineers are de facto limited to minor interactions. Building on the RadioNet FP6 Engineering Forum, and the VLBI operations (EVN Technical Operation Group), the Engineering Forum will address this problem.

The major objectives of this network activity is to further strengthen the collaboration between those groups active in the development and operation of Radio Astronomy instruments at the European level, providing a solid and formal ground for mutual growth, collaboration and support. With local manpower and range of expertise limited at most observatories, close cooperation among engineers is essential.


Collaborations and mutual support structures on a European scale will be enhanced so that duplication of effort can be avoided, and it permits expertise to be shared freely, across the RadioNet institutes. This Networking Activity is heavily focused on improving the data quality of current radio telescopes in Europe, in particular the Transnational Access facilities.

More specifically, the objectives, related to the larger radio astronomical community, including not only radio astronomy institutes but also academic groups and industrial collaborators operating in the development of high-performance hardware for radio astronomy, are to:

  • Identify the technical expertise and competence areas of the larger European Radio astronomy community thus providing a database of design, characterisation and manufacturing facilities,
  • Facilitate and assess the best practice of high performance systems and design methodologies,
  • Train the next generation of radio astronomy engineers by means of short courses and lectures given by experts in the specific field,
  • Identify key technical issues and directions, in order to provide appropriate solutions or to propose collaborative projects in particular areas of technological development,
  • Strengthen and ease the interaction with industrial (and other academic) entities, with the two-fold objective of commercially capitalising the remarkable technical know-how and to have affordable and reliable partners for the development of future large-scale instrumentation in the era of SKA.

The Engineering Forum Chair is R. Keller (MPG), vice chairs are W. Alef (MPG) and E. Limiti (UROM)
rkeller [at] mpifr-bonn [dot] mpg [dot] de, walef [at] mpifr-bonn [dot] mpg [dot] de, limiti [at] ing [dot] uniroma2 [dot] it


More information can be found on the wiki page

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