| After Jason Hessels and Paolo Serra, this year Adam Deller has succeeded in bringing one of the prestigious VENI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to ASTRON. This is a great achievement! This type of grant is aimed at promoting innovative and exciting research projects of young talents who have recently taken their PhD, and to allow them to continue to develop their ideas. It is, therefore, an implicit recognition of the high level of astronomical research done at ASTRON. With this grant (of about 250,000 euro), Adam will continue and expand his work on precision astrometry of pulsars using VLBI.
Precision astrometry, where the angular position of targets on the sky are established with an accuracy of better than a millionth of a degree, can establish the relative motion of the target and its distance from the Solar System. These measurements provide model-independent distance and velocity information that is of great importance in the study of pulsars, allowing insight into their formation and evolution, and also the physics which powers their emission across the electromagnetic spectrum.
Historically, calibration difficulties have hindered precision VLBI astrometry at the low radio frequencies where most pulsars are brightest. However, Adam is planning to take advantage of new and upgraded instruments such as the international LOFAR array, the EVN and the VLBA to extend his astrometric observations to a large sample of the pulsar population, and to determine how to obtain the highest accuracy astrometry with the Square Kilometre Array.
Congratulation Adam and success with you project!