On the proposal for the NAOJ SKA Promotion Office

At the NAOJ Mizusawa Campus, the NAOJ executive meeting was held on 11th September 2018. We explained how Japan participates in the SKA project, and showed interest in proposing the establishment of the SKA Promotion Office. We also explained differences between the SKA and the ngVLA, especially regarding the starting time of the operation, installed frequency bands, and scientific targets. Since some additional questions were presented by the executive, we are now preparing for the answers. On 15th October 2018, we have officially proposed a project for the SKA Promotion Office.

Master Plan 2020 of the Science Council of Japan

On the 13th September 2018, the Master Plan Symposium was held at the University of Tokyo Hongo Campus. Naoshi Sugiyama, the representative of the SKA-Japan consortium (SKA-JP), and Hideyuki Kobayashi, the section manager of Section of Future Project at Mizusawa VLBI observatory presented the outline of the SKA project, and explained the expected contribution of SKA-JP to the SKA project.

Survey for Expression of Interest in the Participation in the SKA phase 1

Section of Future Project at Mizusawa VLBI observatory surveyed expression of interest in the participation in the SKA phase 1, during August-October 2018. This survey aimed to know how researchers in domestic institutes hope to participate in the SKA project during the construction phase (2020-2027) and the initial scientific operation phase (2025-2027). Reviewing the survey results, Section of Future Project at Mizusawa VLBI observatory hereafter consider in detail how we establish collaborations between domestic researchers.

Discussion during the VERA Users Meeting

Annual VERA Users meeting was held at the NAOH Mitaka Campus, from 25th to 26th September 2018. The meeting has a session for discussing synergies with the SKA. The participants also discussed the future prospects of the VLBI at low frequencies.

Meeting with relevant persons in China and South Korea

On the 5th September 2018, Hideyuki Kobayashi and Takuya Akahori had a meeting with Chinese and Korean researches relevant to the SKA project. They discussed the collaboration between East Asian countries, and agreed to having the monthly regular teleconference. The first teleconference was held on 22nd October 2018, and the second f2f meeting will take place during the Science At Low Frequencies V workshop that will be held at Nagoya University during 4th-6th December 2018.

UHF Radio Wave Environment Investigation at the Mizusawa Campus

To explore the possibility of radio observations with UHF bands in the Mizusawa Campus, Takuya Akahori (NAOJ) and Takahiro Aoki (Yamaguchi U.) investigated UHF radio wave environment. Consequently they found some radio quiet bands, although there also be strong radio-frequency interference.

Towards the development of a Band 5c/B receiver

Section of Future Project at Mizusawa VLBI observatory and a radio astronomical group in Osaka Prefecture University had a discussion about the development of a Band 5c/B receiver on 25th September 2018. They will have regular meeting about the development of a Band 5c/B receiver.

Meeting with Fujitsu Laboratories

On 29th August 2018, NAOJ has a meeting with Fujitsu Laboratories. NAOJ expressed an expectation for the silicon photonics developed in Fujitsu Laboratories. Fujitsu Laboratories also introduced a ultra-low-power optical transceiver which would be a key device for the SKA2.

Visiting Australia

Takuya Akahori, a member of Section of Future Project at Mizusawa VLBI observatory stayed Australia during 1st-12th October 2018. He first visited Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory (MRO) and inspected the ASKAP and MWA antennas. He also stayed Perth to gather the information of the MWA data archive system. He further visited Australian Telescope National Facility at Sydney and had a meeting with

Adam McLeod who is the project manager of LOW-AIV. In Japan Yusuke Kono is now leading the investigation of AIV-LOW and frequently hold a meeting on AIV-LOW.

Attending European VLBI Network Symposium

Hideyuki Kobayashi attended the European VLBI Network Symposium held at Granada form 8th-11th October 2018. He discussed the requirements for VLBI system with the SKA and the development of a wide band receiver “Brand”

MWA project meeting and Science At Low Frequencies V will be held at Nagoya University

We will hold the MWA project meeting (3rd and 7th December 2018), and Science At Low frequencies (SLAF) V (4th-6th December 2018) at Nagoya University. In the MWA project meeting, there will be reports from the MWA board and SWG chairs. SALF is one of the biggest workshop regarding radio astronomy in the world, and about there will be about 100 participants. The representatives of ongoing radio telescope projects, such as SKA, MWA, LOFAR, PAPER, HERA, uGMRT, CHIME, and EDGEDs will talk about the current status of these projects.

Report provided by Kenji Hasegawa