by Staff Writers
Dwingeloo, Netherlands (SPX) Dec 15, 2009
The European Commission concluded their final review of EXPReS (Express Production Real-time e-VLBI Service), hailing the project as "extraordinarily successful" and encouraging the team to "explore any opportunity for further development".
The 3.5 year project, which concluded in August, established and improved network connectivity from some of the world's most sensitive radio telescopes to the correlator at the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) and improved computing capabilities of the correlator itself, making real-time, electronic VLBI a regular and reliable astronomy technique available to the global radio astronomy community.
This new service makes it easier for scientists to identify transient astronomical activity and conduct follow-on observations.
In addition to the improvement in e-VLBI facilities, the EC also concluded that EXPReS will "inform the design of future facilities such as the SKA" (Square Kilometre Array).
"It has been recognized that we made major progress in EXPReS, both technically, in connecting these large telescopes across the world robustly, and scientifically, by providing new, real-time astronomical opportunities," said JIVE director Huib van Langevelde. "These results will be important for the SKA and in particular VLBI in the SKA era."
Comprised of 19 national astronomy institutes and national research and education network providers in 14 countries, and coordinated by JIVE, EXPReS represents "a successful example of how multidisciplinary projects can facilitate the collaboration among different scientific areas", according to the EC report.
Express Production Real-time e-VLBI Service
Space Telescope News and Technology at Skynightly.com
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