The African-European Radio Astronomy Platform is organising a workshop on Co-location of Astronomy and Other Space Infrastructure on 23-24 February 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa.
The aim of the workshop is to engage in a constructive dialogue, with considered inputs from experts in South Africa, the rest of Africa and Europe, on the feasibility of co-locating core ground based instrumentation and space related infrastructure with existing or soon to be realised radio astronomy facilities within the African continent. The primary intention is to identify cost-effective technology options for the provision of in-situ and spatial datasets in support of research, the development of decision-making tools, and embedding such datasets in products and services.
The time is ripe, with the planned conversion of defunct telecommunications dishes for radio astronomy observations in several African countries to form the African Very Large Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Network, to seriously consider the co-location of apposite instrumentation and infrastructure with these dishes. The coexistence of space related infrastructure, ground based instrumentation and radio astronomy facilities provide an excellent opportunity for human and financial resource mobilisation and optimisation in building up the requisite capacity in support of an observation network on the African continent.
The purpose of the initiative will be on evaluating the technical feasibility of the co-location of different infrastructures with a specific focus on the socio-economic investment case, and related opportunities for industrial and business cooperation, including technology transfer and skills development on the African continent. The specific focus would be to explore the feasibility of co-locating radio astronomy and geodesy projects with global navigation satellite service infrastructure as well as other space-based services for society, e.g. Earth observation, e-health and e-education, and communication.
Develop technology transfer and skills, which will improve employment opportunities, and
Build on the economic investment case and related opportunities for industrial and business cooperation, through the evaluation of the technical feasibility of the co-location of different infrastructure.
DAY 1: 23 February 2015
DAY 2: 24 February 2015