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Probing the Radio Continuum Universe with SKA Pathfinders
Description and Aim
Several next-generation "SKA pathfinder" radio telescopes and upgrades are under construction around the world, each planning major radio continuum surveys. This workshop aims to bring together continuum survey expertise in both science and survey technique, to coordinate developments, to avoid duplication of effort, and to ensure that each project has access to best practice.
The workshop will include discussion of specific science goals, to ensure cross-fertilisation of ideas and optimum survey strategies.
As part of the lead-up to the €1.5B SKA (Square Kilometre Array) project, due to start construction in 2015, several next-generation radio telescopes and upgrades are under construction around the world, including LOFAR (The Netherlands), ASKAP (Australia), Meerkat (South Africa), EVLA (USA), eMERLIN (UK), the Allen Telescope (USA), and Apertif (The Netherlands). Most of these instruments will host several survey science projects, but they all host radio continuum survey projects, with the goal of surveying the radio continuum emission from galaxies, in order to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies over cosmic time, and the cosmological parameters and large-scale structures which drive it.
In pursuit of this goal, the different teams are developing techniques such as source extraction and classification, and multi-wavelength cross-identification. Furthermore, these projects share specific science goals, which in most cases require further definition before a well-planned survey can be executed. Finally, these new instruments each have different strengths, and coordination of surveys between them can help maximise the science from each of them.
This workshop will focus on:
· Comparing developments of techniques such as source extraction and classification, and multi-wavelength cross-identification, across the projects, to avoid duplication of effort and ensure that each project has access to best practice.
· Discussions of specific science goals so that members of the different projects can exchange ideas and optimise their survey strategies.
· Discussions of survey parameters such as choice of area, depth, and location on the sky, to maximise the science return from the surveys. In some cases this will be achieved by maximising the complementarity (e.g. some instruments are better suited to wide shallow surveys while others are better suited to deep surveys over a smaller area) and in some cases by maximising the overlap (where several deep surveys at different frequencies or resolution should concentrate on the same area of sky).
To capture the outcomes of the workshop, we will invite participants to contribute papers to a Workshop proceedings, published by Proceedings of Science.
Format and Structure
The workshop will differ from a conference in emphasising the importance of discussions as well as formal presentations. We therefore plan the workshop to include four components:
1. Review presentations which will set the scene for the detailed discussions
2. Contributed presentations, including both oral and poster presentations
3. Organised discussions on particular topics
4. Ample time set aside for informal discussion and preparation