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8th of February 2018
ATNF Colloquium
by Tony Beasley (NRAO)
Today's program at CASS features a "double-header"! First the CASS Undergraduate Vacation Scholars will be presenting short talks about the projects they have been working on during their time at CASS.
This will be followed by a colloquium from Tony Beasley, Director of the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory. His talk will describe the current science goals, design and planning status of a future large centimeter radio array: the ‘Next Generation Very Large Array’ (ngVLA). The ngVLA is being developed to observe at wavelengths between ALMA at submm wavelengths, and the future SKA-1 at few centimeter and longer wavelengths, opening a new window on the Universe through ultra-sensitive imaging of thermal line and continuum emission down to milliarcsecond resolution, and unprecedented broad band continuum polarimetric imaging of non-thermal processes. The current design for the array includes 10x more effective collecting area and 10x higher linear spatial resolution than the current JVLA or ALMA, carefully optimized for operation in the frequency range 10 GHz to 50 GHz, while still delivering world-leading sensitivity over the entire 1.2 GHz to 115 GHz spectrum. With this array, many new frontiers in modern astronomy can be reached, including direct imaging and chemical analysis of planet formation in the terrestrial-zone or nearby stars, to studies of dust-obscured star formation and the cosmic baryon cycle down to pc-scales in the local Universe, and detailed imaging of molecular gas and galaxy formation out to high redshifts. The process of community studies driving design specifications is underway, and industrial engagement recently commended with antennas design studies. Recent significant NSF support has allowed commencement of a formal design & development program enabling formal concept development and technology prototyping/risk reduction before the next U.S astronomy Decadal Survey.
Tony is the one on the right in the image above! (Image credit: SKA Organisation)

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