Jodrell Bank Observatory in the Square Kilometre Array era

On 15/16 September, members of the UK astronomical community took part in a workshop at Jodrell Bank Observatory discussing the role of e-MERLIN and the Lovell Telescope in the era of the Square Kilometre Array.  

Astronomers at the JBO in the SKA Era workshop
Astronomers at the "JBO in the SKA Era" workshop

The UK is playing a significant role in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. The international headquarters of the SKA Organisation is based in the UK at Jodrell Bank, and the UK is leading the international investment in the SKA as well as making significant contributions to its design and to its science exploitation.

e-MERLIN, the UK's National Radio Astronomy facility, and the 76-m Lovell Telescope constitute major radio astronomical facilities providing sub- arcsecond resolution imaging capabilities and state-of-the-art pulsar time-domain capabilities. Both are unique and world-class facilities and in combination have 25% of the collecting area of SKA1-mid with similar baseline and frequency coverage making them a powerful standalone instrument and pathfinder for SKA science.

The workshop discussed the latest science results from e-MERLIN and the Lovell Telescope and the development of radio telescopes in the UK for the next era of Radio Astronomy.

The detailed programme was as follows:

Thursday 15th September 2016

Session 1: Overview, concept and meeting motivation

10:00 - Welcome and overall vision - Mike Garrett (JBCA)
10:20 - The SKA era and the role of National Facilities - Phil Diamond (SKAO)
10:45 - Extragalactic Astrophysics - role of National Facilities - Paul Alexander (Cambridge)
11:05 - Galactic Astrophysics - role of National Facilities - Melvin Hoare (Leeds)

11:25 - Coffee

11:45 - e-MERLIN/JBO Developments: Technical summary and opportunties - Simon Garrington (JBCA)
12:20 - Lovell Telescope developments: Phased Array Feed - Mike Keith (JBCA)

12:40 - 13:00 - Discussion (Overall concepts)

13:00 - Lunch (and conference photo)

Session 2: Technical and Operational developments

14:00 - SKA Technical developments relevant to the National Facility - Keith Grainge (JBCA)
14:20 - SKA SDP and pipelines - Anna Scaife (JBCA)
14:40 - SKA-based receivers for e-MERLIN - Mike Jones (Oxford)
14:55 - New telescopes for e-MERLIN : CUGA - Melvin Hoare (Leeds)

15:10 - 15:40 - Discussions (Technical and operational)

15:40 - 16:15 - Afternoon tea break

Session 3: Planets and star-formation

16:15 - Overview and introduction - Melvin Hoare (Leeds)
16:25 - Proto-Planetary disks (PEBBLES) - Jane Greaves (Cardiff)
16:40 - Massive star-formation feedback with e-MERLIN: Present and future - Katharine Johnston (Leeds)
16:55 - Maser science and the latest K-band developments - Anita Richards (JBCA)

17:10 - 17:30 - Discussion (Local Universe : Galactic)

17:30 - 20:00 - Drinks reception and meal at JBO

Friday 16th September 2016

09:00 - The EVN and e-MERLIN - Rene Vermeulen (EVN CBD Chair & ASTRON)

Session 4: Pulsar and Transient Science

09:15 - Overview and Introduction - Ben Stappers (JBCA)
09:25 - Multi-frequency, high-resolution and rapi-trigger programmes with AMI and e-MERLIN - Kunal Mooley (Oxford)
09:40 - Fast Transients and pulars - Evan Keane (SKAO)
09:55 - Challenges and prospects for radio transient detection - Mateusz Malenta(JBCA)
10:10 - LOFT-e: A radio transient Detection System for e-MERLIN - Charlie Walker (JBCA)

10:25 - 10:40 - Discussion (Transients and Pulsars)

Session 5: Galaxies

10:50 - Overview and Introduction - Ian McHardy (Southampton)
11:00 - Local galaxy studies with e-MERLIN - Megan Argo(JBCA)
11:15 - Disentangling star-formation and AGN with the SKA - Minnie Mao (JBCA)
11:30 - LIRGs and ULIRGs with e-MERLIN and the EVN - Antxon Alberdi (IAA, Spain/SKAO)

11:45 - 12:00 - Discussion (Local Universe: Galaxies)

Session 6: Galaxy evolution

12:00 - Overview and Introduction - Antxon Alberdi (IAA, Spain/SKAO)
12:10 - e-MERGE - latest results and future - Tom Muxlow (JBCA)
12:25 - Sub-mm starbursts at high-z - Alasdair Thomson (Durham)
12:40 - Isolating AGN using wide-field VLBI and e-MERLIN - Jack Radcliffe (JBCA/Groningen)

12:55 - 13:10 - Discussion (Galaxy evolution)

13:10 - Lunch

Session 7: Cosmology

14:00 - Overview and Introduction - Richard Battye (JBCA)
14:10 - Weak Lensing - Michael Brown (JBCA)
14:25 - Strong Lensing - Neal Jackson (JBCA)

14:40 - 15:00 - Discussion (Cosmology)

15:00 - 16:00 - Discussion and Wrap-up - the way forward

 
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