Joint Research Activities

The RadioNet FP7 JRA activities largely build on the successful activities within FP6 RadioNet or earlier FP5/6 programmes. They form a coherent project plan aimed at providing innovative developments to support the scientific programmes on the RadioNet telescopes and keep the facilities state-of-the-art.

A common element to all the JRAs is that they directly address the effectiveness with which the existing radio-telescopes can be deployed in the next decade. For example, the deployment of multi-pixel detectors will revolutionise single-dish astronomy by enhancing the large scale imaging speed by many orders of magnitude. The development of multi-pixel arrays is a theme common to two of the JRAs: AMSTAR+ (WP7) for mm/sub-mm telescopes and APRICOT (WP8) for cm/mm telescopes. Although the goals of the two JRAs are similar, i.e. to provide major enhancements to the field-of-view and, thereby survey capabilities of single-dish telescopes, the techniques and technologies involved are very different in the two wavelength regimes.

The volume of data which will be produced by multi-pixel cameras on single-dishes will be similar to that generated by the new generation of interferometers. They will require flexible, powerful, digital backends which can be used for a variety of different applications. The JRA UniBoard (WP9) will develop a generic digital processing board that will enhance the signal processing capabilities of the existing telescopes for spectroscopy, pulsar searches and high-resolution interferometry. Similarly, the software JRA ALBiUS (WP6) will provide the software tools needed to fully exploit the emergence of new and upgraded telescopes, such as e-MERLIN and LOFAR. Moreover, the AMSTAR+ and APRICOT projects have a strategic role in securing the supply of Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs) in Europe.
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