FUNA Lunch Talk:

Rick Fisher


Technical R&D Activities and Plans: What's Needed vs What's Possible

February 15

12:10PM EST, Room 230, NRAO, Edgemont Road

Video connections: Gene Runion is setting up the hub and a microphone with connections to AOC-317, GB-137, and TUC, and will record the talk.


Major new instruments in radio astronomy have always been the product of years of experience with existing instruments, general advances in technology, and the development of new technology that is unique to radio astronomy. Attempts to accelerate these advances, as implied by the SKA construction schedule, are likely to be much more costly than is now being suggested. In the past decade or more at NRAO, unique technology development has either been eclipsed by large project demands or been absorbed into those projects at considerably higher risk. This talk outlines the issues related to reestablishing a general R&D program and shows a few details of initial activities. The engineers at NRAO would like to engage in a continuous dialog with scientists to understand the scientific needs in more detail and to return insight into where technology advances are most likely and what fundamental problems need to be solved with long-range R&D.