Science frontiers for SKA-VLBI
Since last reported, Critical Design Reviews for the different elements of the SKA telescope have started. Consortium members and the SKA Office are undergoing a very intense period of formal review to assess the completeness, compliance and adequateness of the different designs towards a coherent system that will deliver two telescopes operated by one Observatory. In these reviews special attention is being paid to the VLBI capability implementation as part of the effort of the work package 10 “VLBI with the SKA” of the JUMPING JIVE project (“Joining up Users for Maximising the Profile, the Innovation and Necessary Globalisation of JIVE”). Important sub-elements for the VLBI capability, as the Correlator and Beamformer of the Central Signal Processor element, have already passed the Critical Review in very good shape and the engagement from the CSP consortium in the VLBI implementation is worth to be noted.
Additionally, the SKA VLBI Science Working Group, supported by the JUMPING JIVE project, is currently undergoing renovation with the aim to attract more active members that can contribute to the definition of the SKA-VLBI operational model and the inclusion of the VLBI high angular resolution component in the different Key Science Projects that could benefit from it.
Recent and future meetings and workshops with relevance for the SKA-VLBI
The Quest for Multiple Supermassive Black Holes: A Multi-Messenger View. Leiden, November 20-24, 2017.
This LC Snellius Workshop was dedicated to multi-messenger studies of multiple supermassive black hole systems (SMBHs), with an emphasis on the best strategies for detection applicable to the current and upcoming observatories, including the SKA-VLBI capacity. The workshop brought together worldwide experts from both observational and theoretical points of view.
JUMPING JIVE project WP7 “VLBI Future” Face-to-Face meeting, Zaandam, February 28- March 1, 2018.
The f2f meeting brought VLBI experts together to start working on the EVN Vision document, including prospects for Global VLBI activities in the next decade together with the SKA (Figure 1).
EWASS 2018: Special Session SS11 Exploring the Universe: a European vision for the future of VLBI, Liverpool, April 4, 2018.
The aim of this special session was to discuss and position the role of VLBI at radio wavelengths in the context of the challenges and open questions of astrophysics in the next decade. VLBI arrays are the only instruments capable of reaching milliarcsecond scale resolution and below, and in this special session it was aimed at addressing those astrophysical key areas where VLBI will prove to be crucial for a major improvement of our knowledge. The programme covered Observational Cosmology, Extreme Physics, the Local Universe and the Future of high resolution Radio Astronomy in Europe. A dedicated SKA-VLBI poster and a banner were presented during the conference at the SKA and JIVE stands (Figure 2).
The 14th European VLBI Network Symposium and Users Meeting, Granada, October 8-11, 2018.
This biennial meeting is the main forum for discussion of the latest VLBI scientific results and technical and technological developments within the EVN member countries. Apart from a wide range of science topics, the meeting will also focus on the role of the EVN on:
- Very high-sensitivity VLBI with the SKA
- Future multi wavelength and multi messenger astronomy including high angular-resolution astronomy at other wavelengths