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Shaping the Future in New Mexico

Submitter: Arnold van Ardenne
Description: Just prior to leaving 2015, a second technical workshop on a new generation VLA was held at NRAO's Array Operations Center in Socorro, NM. Besides presenting an impressive science update, it discussed important technical aspects of what is now referred to as the ngVLA. Great thinking about its shaping up is going on. Details can be found on https://science.nrao.edu/futures/ngvla.

Going up in frequency as high as 120 GHz, it reminded me about discussions at or around SKA meetings of SKA-High and ALMA-low. The latter is a hypothetical future ALMA with much larger collecting area, but operating at lower frequencies, to observe the red-shifted molecular universe.

Of course we also visited the JVLA, here shown in its highly photogenic compact arrangement. Impressive as the picture is, being shown around by VLA staff made me feel that the amount of dedicated and professional work done by our US colleagues to achieve its present state has been at least as impressive!

Upon reflection it made me think that the great work done in ASTRON using the WSRT, e.g. to achieve its unique high dynamic range imaging and its novel polarimetric work, now finds an outstanding science future in the US. Both were made possible through outstanding engineering design and stability of the WSRT, and the mathematical tool of MeqTrees.

Actually, it looked as if a trifle over-engineering, and years of devotion, has a price but serves the future!
Copyright: ASTRON
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