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Panoramic Radio Astronomy: Wide-field 1-2 GHz research on galaxy evolution

By P. Serra and G. Heald


In this contribution we give a brief overview of the Panoramic Radio Astronomy (PRA) conference held on 2-5 June 2009 in Groningen, the Netherlands. The conference was motivated by the on-going development of a large number of new radio telescopes and instruments which, within a few years, will bring a major improvement over current facilities. Interferometers such as the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA), Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP), Allen Telescope Array (ATA), Karoo Array Telescope (MeerKAT) and the Aperture Tile In Focus (APERTIF) upgrade to the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) will provide a combination of larger field of view and increased simultaneous bandwidth, while maintaining good collecting area and angular resolution. They will achieve a survey speed 10-50 times larger at 1-2 GHz than the current possibilities, allowing for the first time optical-like all-sky extra-galactic surveys at these frequencies. Significant progress will be made in many fields of radio astronomy. In this conference we focused on research into the evolution of galaxies over the past few Gyr. In particular, wide-field observations at 1-2 GHz will provide an unprecedented panoramic view of the gas properties and star formation in galaxies, embedded in their environment, from z 0.2-0.5 to the present. Within the framework of our current knowledge of the galaxy population at z<0:5, we discussed: the key science questions that the new telescopes will permit us to answer in combination with complimentary work at other wavelengths; the observing modes and analysis strategies which will allow us to most efficiently exploit the data; and the techniques for most effectively coping with the huge volume of survey products, so far unusual for the radio community. Emphasis was placed on the complementarity of the upcoming facilities and on their role in paving the way for the technological development and science goals of the Square Kilometre Array.

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:ub.rug.nl:dbi/4b700a111d329
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