Futures

Futures

by Davis Murphy last modified Aug 22, 2016 by Eric Murphy

U.S. Radio-Millimeter-Submillimeter Science Futures Conference Series

The NRAO is organizing a series of three conferences for the broader community to discuss potential U.S. futures for radio-millimeter-submillimeter science in the 2020’s and beyond.  Funded by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and the Kavli Foundation, these workshops will be structured around key science themes that reflect priorities identified in the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey, are likely to be important in the forthcoming decade, and require observations at radio-mm-submm wavelengths to be properly addressed.

  • The first of these meetings took place 15-17 December 2015 in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. The Science Organizing Committee co-chairs for this meeting were Mark Reid (CfA) and Jean Turner (UCLA).  
  • The second of these meetings took place 3-5 August 2016 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.  The session chairs for this meeting were Zeehan Ahmed (SLAC), Eric Murphy (NRAO), Aaron Parsons (UC Berkeley), David Kaplan (UW Milwaukee), and Mark Reid (CfA).  
  • The third, and final meeting of this series, will take place in late summer 2017 somewhere on the U.S. west coast.  

Next Generation Very Large Array

Inspired by dramatic discoveries from the Jansky VLA and ALMA, the astronomy community has initiated discussion of a future large area radio array optimized for imaging of thermal emission to milli-arcsecond (mas) scales that will open new discovery space from proto-planetary disks to distant galaxies.

This Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) is currently envisioned to include:

    • 10x the collecting area of the Jansky VLA & ALMA
    • science operations from 1 - 115 GHz
    • 10x longer baselines (300 km) that yield mas-resolution, and
    • a dense antenna core on km-scales for high surface brightness imaging.

As part of the process of building towards a final concept for the ngVLA, NRAO has issued a call for ngVLA Community studies that will provide a mechanism for members of the community to become major contributors to this effort. These studies will be carried out over the next year and be used to help construct a final design concept to be brought to Astro2020. 

The NRAO is also in the process of soliciting nominations for membership to the Next-Generation VLA (ngVLA) Science Advisory Council (SAC)  who will interface and provide critical feedback between NRAO and the scientific community.