| BALTICS is the acronym for Building on Advanced LOFAR Technology for Innovation, Collaboration, and Sustainability. It is an educational program funded by the European Union, meant to significantly increase the expertise level of the staff of Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center (VIRAC) in Latvia, so that they will be able to carry out internationally-competing scientific research. ASTRON is one of the two partners involved in this challenging project, together with University of Manchester (UMAN),
The project is structured in four work packages which goals are the following:
WP1 Management and Coordination (VENTSPILS AUGSTSKOLA VUC). It covers the overall coordination and strategic management tasks of the project. In order to perform an efficient monitoring and a professional management.
WP2 Dissemination and Scientific Publishing (VUC). Astronomy has a powerful appeal that is used to reach the general public and to make it aware of the excitement of science and its importance for society. Promotion and scientific publishing cover the full length of the project.
WP3 Curriculum Development and Training in Instrumentation (ASTRON). Is the main work package addressing the transfer of expertise in the techniques of the design and operation of advanced phased array instrumentation.
WP4: Curriculum Development and Training in Data Analysis (UMAN). Is the main work package addressing the transfer of expertise in the techniques of radio astronomy and radio astronomy data processing. These are essential techniques for the practice of long-baseline astronomy, and in particular are instrumental in the development of radio interferometry in Latvia via participation in the ILT. A LOFAR School and two busy weeks will take place at ASTRON.
The kick-off meeting of BALTICS took place the 18th of February 2016 at the VENTSPILS AUGSTSKOLA (LATVIA). The big picture shows the main representatives of the main partners: Neal Jackson (UMAN), Rene Vermeulen, Rob van der Meer, Roel Witvers, Emanuela Orru (ASTRON), Valdis Avotii, Gatis Gaigals, Evita Vaviina, Eva Fabiga (VIRAC). The small pictures show various moments during the day.