|Description:|| BALTICS is a H2020 twinning project running between January 2016 and December 2018. The partners are VIRAC (Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center), ASTRON, and University of Manchester (UMAN). BALTICS aims at strengthening the expertise and experience at VIRAC in the field of radio astronomy research as well as technology and instrumentation. The project enables intensive contacts with two internationally leading research institutions (ASTRON and UMAN), focused on LOFAR, eMERLIN, and VLBI techniques. It comprises development and training in instrumentation and data analysis, accompanied by dissemination and scientific publications.|
The project closed its activities with a scientific conference organised in Jurmala, Latvia on December 5. Attendees from Latvia, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands collectively shared the knowledge and experience gained during the project.
The conference was followed by a Workshop at the Irbene Observatory of VIRAC on December 6, with the goal of promoting the opportunities that the participation of VIRAC in LOFAR and the EVN will bring to the new user community, and to intensify links with partner scientific and technological institutes in the wider European region. The workshop covered topics from the basics of ILT science operations, organization and future upgrade, to science research topics from potential users.
VIRAC expressed its pleasure and gratitude with the results they derived from the BALTICS project. The impression of the ASTRON participants is that we significantly contributed to increasing their capabilities. Furthermore, we were impressed by the work of all contributors in their research in Low Frequency Radio astronomy and the related technical facilities. We were excited to see the ground preparations for the LOFAR station, and we look forward to welcoming the Latvian consortium as ILT partner in 2019.