OPTICON FP7 (2013-2016) WP14 - The European Interferometry Initiative

WP leader: Paulo Garcia (University of Porto)

The objective of this work package is to enhance the access and the scientific exploitation of the European flagship infrastructure – the Very Large Telescope Interferometer – the world’s top optical interferometer, as well as the European-USA alliances in the CHARA array, MROI and LBT-Interferometer. To do this exchanges of individuals across European institutes (the Fizeau Exchange Programme ) will be competitively funded and a new generation of, mostly young astronomers, will receive hands-on training.

We will also help to define a strategy for the future of optical interferometry in Europe in the next decade, taking into account the global landscape shaped by the operation of the ALMA array and construction of the E-ELT. This will be achieved via an inclusive working group (“The future of interferometry in Europe”) with members from the scientific community, service infrastructures and emerging countries. We will reinforce a shared vision for the field with meetings of representatives from established and new countries (infrastructure organizations, instrument building countries, scientific user countries and countries with emerging communities). This will be enabled by training schools which will have mainly a hands-on component using appropriate software, complemented by theory classes explaining the fundamentals, seminars illustrating front-line applications and complementary skills courses. The attendance will be of around 30 participants with priority to young students from non-expert institutes/countries.

The activity will also support meetings of the scientific council of the European lnterferometric initiative which joins representatives of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, ESO and ESA. Face-to-face meetings will take place every two years. This activity is a continuation of a previous FP7 work package; its goal is to maintain a common vision of the field by established and new countries and of oversight of the other activities.

Visit the WP14 website here: http://www.european-interferometry.eu/