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Busy with busy weeks

Submitter: Tom Oosterloo
Description: One of the best innovations brought by Lofar is the concept of busy weeks. In a Lofar busy week, people involved in a particular aspect of Lofar come together, usually in Dwingeloo, to work, in a very targeted way, on a specific set of observations to solve a particular set of problems. This has turned out to be very effective, not only in actually improving things, but it also is very good for group building and project cohesion.

The success of the concept has been noted outside Astron and many groups in radio astronomy are copying it. In the first two weeks of July, the team involved in the EVLA Deep HI Survey Pilot (a project led by Jacqueline van Gorkom from Columbia University and involving Apertif PIs Tom Oosterloo and Marc Verheijen) visited Astron to reduce and analyze data of deep EVLA HI observations of the COSMOS field. HI observations with the EVLA have already entered the phase of producing very large data sets (of the kind and size we hope to obtain with Apertif) and calibrating and analyzing these data require new approaches. Inspired by the success of Lofar busy weeks, the group decided to try it that way and work for two weeks on these data. This turned out to be a great success. In two weeks, it was figured out how to handle the large data sets, to make data cubes and to do the first science with them. First publications will be out soon.

In organizing the event, it became clear that Astron staff is getting very experienced in organizing busy weeks and things went very smoothly. Astron should copyright the idea and start a busy week business!!
Copyright: Astron
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