›SKA Forum 2010, A New Golden Age for Radio Astronomy
Radio astronomy - in its broadest sense from metre to sub-millimetre wavelengths - is making a major leap forward. Triggered by the efforts being made towards realising the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a number of new facilities, or major upgrades of existing facilities, are coming on-line, bringing new excitement among radio astronomers and revitalising the interest of the astronomical community in general.
The fantastic capabilities of these new facilities will revolutionise the way we do radio astronomy. The use of innovative technology solutions (including new software approaches and calibration algorithms) is expected to significantly enhance the performance of this new generation of radio telescopes. The associated advances in sensitivity, field-of-view, frequency range and spectral resolution guarantees that new and exciting science will be conducted. We are now truly entering a new golden age for radio astronomy. And this is only the beginning!
The meeting takes its inspiration from the opening of the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) but there are many other telescopes or upgrades that are now coming online. These include the E-VLA, e-MERLIN, e-VLBI, MWA, PAPER, ATA, eSMA, EMBRACE, SCUBA-2, APEX, IRAM, Yebes and ATCA (CABB). Some of these facilities are now beginning to produce their first results. This meeting aims to provide an overview of these first successes and indeed struggles(!), and highlight the future perspective and longer term goals of our community. These initial results will give a first taste of the science (and the challenges) that we will enjoy with the SKA. Several major elements of new telescopes like MEERKAT, ALMA, ASKAP, APERTIF, LWA, SRT and FAST are also expected to be producing some initial technical results around this time - these will also be covered in the programme of the meeting. In summary, we encourage presentations on results that use new or recently upgraded telescopes, or results that use new challenging techniques or address science issues that will be fully explored by the new generation of radio telescopes.
The meeting is part of a week-long series of events organised around the opening of LOFAR and the International SKA Forum 2010. The LOFAR opening will take place on Saturday 12 June, while the Forum is scheduled on Tuesday 15 June. The (somewhat unusual) schedule of the "A new golden age for radio astronomy" meeting has been made in order to give the participants an opportunity to attend all of these events.