Newsletter November 2015

RadioNet3 Newsletter

November 2015

CRAF members at WRC-15 with Support from RadioNet3
RadioNet3 - Present & Future Opportunities
RadioNet4 - Applicants for Full Proposal Pre-Selected
Events Funded by RadioNet3
The ERTRC Report Officially Approved by ASTRONET
Work Programme for 2016/2017 published


CRAF members at WRC-15 with Support from RadioNet3

In November this year, the World Radio Communication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) will be held at the headquarters of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland. WRCs are held every three to four years. It is the job of the WRC to review, and, if necessary, revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. More than 3000 representatives from all member states and many organisations that have an interest in radio frequencies will attend this 4-week long conference. Radio astronomy frequencies can be easily lost or compromised due to decisions made at a WRC.
The following topics at WRC-15 impact radio astronomy:
  • • Mobile broadband applications in the frequency range 470 MHz - 6 GHz. A number of candidate frequency bands have been identified of which some are close to radio astronomy bands
  • • Additional fixed satellite service allocations near the 10.6 - 10.7 GHz and 15.35 - 15.4 GHz radio astronomy bands
  • • Additional mobile satellite service allocations in the 22 - 26 GHz range
  • • Extension of the active Earth exploration-satellite service allocation with 600 MHz near the 10.6 - 10.7 GHz radio astronomy band
  • • Allocation of car radars in the 77.5 - 78 GHz radio astronomy band
  • • Abolishment of the leap second

A number of CRAF members will attend the WRC-15 with support from the RadioNet3 project. They will defend the frequency bands that have been allocated to radio astronomy to assure that high quality observations with little or no interference can be made in the future as well.

RadioNet3 - Present & Future Opportunities


Forty-two participants made the meeting RadioNet3 - present & future opportunities on August 25-26, 2015 in Berlin a success.
After discussing the achievements of RadioNet3, ideas for the RadioNet future were presented and discussed. Participants created discussion groups on the spot and developed new topics that were used in preparing work packages for the next RadioNet proposal.


RadioNet4 - Applicants for Full Proposal Pre-Selected

Prof A. Zensus, the Coordinator, received 25 short proposals: 10 for NAs, 7 for JRAs and 8 for TNAs, requesting a total amount of 18 M€. The selection committee met on September 18 and pre-selected 7 TNAs, 3 NAs (a combination of 8 short proposals) and 3 JRAs to submit a full proposal by October 23, 2015.

End of 2015, the 2nd draft of the RadioNet4 proposal will be finished.


RadioNet will submit a proposal by March 30, 2016 in the Work Programme 2016/2017 under INFRAIA-01-2016-2017: Integrating Activities for Advanced Communities. 


Events Funded by RadioNet3

 Multi-Frequency mm-wave Radio Telescopes and Other Software Controlled Operations

The ERATec meeting Multi-frequency mm-wave radio telescopes & other software correlated operations took place on October 5-7, 2015 in Florence. The talks are available on you tube:

Day one, morning:

Day one, afternoon:

Day two, morning:

Day two, afternoon:

Day three, morning:

Day three, afternoon:


IYAS 2015

The International Young Astronomers School on Large Ground-based 21st Century Radio Instruments: ALMA/NOEMA - SKA/LOFAR/NenuFAR (IYAS 2015) will take place on November 16-20, 2015 in the Observatoire de Paris-Meudon (FR).

The recent opening of ALMA to the astrophysical community, large ground based observational facilities in the radio centimetre and millimetre range are preparing a new era of radio astronomy for the coming century. In the (sub)millimetre range, ALMA has already provided exciting observations. The NOEMA project upgrade of the Plateau de Bure interferometer will provide a complement to this worldwide observatory.
All fields of astrophysics are impacted, from planetary sciences to cosmology and including all scales of Galactic studies. The goal of the present school is to introduce PhD students and post-doc researchers to these exciting developments.

All RadioNet3 events can be viewed here:


The ERTRC Report Officially Approved by ASTRONET

The European Radio Telescope Review Committee (ERTRC) was created by the ASTRONET Board to take a broad look at the present situation of radio astronomy in Europe, and at the contributions that the radio astronomical facilities can make to the scientific goals defined in the ASTRONET Science Vision. The final aim was to deliver a strategy to optimize the use of radio telescopes by the European astronomical community, both in the short as well as in the medium to long-term. The ERTRC consulted extensively with the global astronomical community, and specially with the radio observatories, their organizing bodies, and with RadioNet3. The report contains a description of the existing facilities and their future upgrades, a map of their contributions to the scientific topics of the Science Vision, a discussion of the factors that affect these contributions based on the technical developments and the scientific operations, a discussion on organizational and funding aspects which could affect the future of radio astronomy, some comments on several aspects of the training of astronomers and engineers, a description of the needed coordinated observations with facilities at other frequencies, and a final set of recommendations.
The ERTRC concludes that radio astronomy in Europe: i) is healthy and blossoming into a new and exciting phase; ii) provides critical contributions to the Science Vision; iii) is transitioning to larger, more complex facilities and greater scales of international collaboration; iv) needs training of radio astronomers at all levels, from the black-belt experts who are driving innovation, to multi-wavelength users; v) is facing new challenges, like the accessibility to the radio astronomical data for non-radio astronomy experts in order to maximise the scientific return, or the revolution associated with the large-scale computing, requiring new skills as software engineering and supercomputing; vi) requires the protection of radio frequencies for scientific use; vii) should organize the European involvement in the SKA through a treaty organization that is robustly mandated and funded.

The ERTRC is officially available in the public section of the ASTRONET webpage. You can find it via the following link,, under the description: "Report on the implementation of the radio telescope review committee recommendations". (Contribution of Prof. Antxon Alberdi/IAA-CSIC, on behalf of the ERTRC.)

Work Programme for 2016/2017 published

The European Commission published the Work Programme 2016/2017:


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