SKANZ 2010

In 2010 AUT was delighted to host a week of events relating to sciences associated with the SKA.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is the next generation radio telescope, planned to probe the Universe at a level of sensitivity and completeness orders of magnitude beyond what has previously been achieved, targeting science raging from cosmology to extraterrestrial life. On the path to the SKA, a number of precursor or pathfinder telescopes are currently being constructed, to prove new technologies for the SKA and, importantly, refine the thinking behind the science goals for the SKA.

This conference, took place during the science definition phase for the pathfinder instruments, but before these significant telescopes is routinely operational. This conference aimed to explore the range of science programs proposed for the instruments, review progress with the delivery of the instruments, and discuss science collaborations that utilise the  instruments.

Astronomers in Australasia (Australia + New Zealand) are well placed to take advantage of these developments, as a number of the SKA pathfinders are located in Australasia, Asia or the Pacific Rim.


Monday 15 February

VLBI and GNSS:  New Zealand and Australian perspectives


  • International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry
  • International GNSS Service
  • Institute for Radio Astronomy and Space Research
  • Chair of the Workshop SOC:  Harald Schuh (Austria)

Programme Outline:

09:00 – 10:30  Welcome and Overview

Opening and Welcome – Harald Schuh, Sergei Gulyaev (10 min)
IVS: goals, structure and activities – Harald Schuh, Dirk Behrend (30 min)
IGS: goals, structure and activities – Chris Rizos (30 min)
Combination of VLBI and GPS in order to improve TRF and EOP solutions – Manuela Seitz, Robert Heinkelmann (20 min)

10:30 – 11:00  BREAK

11:00 – 12:30  VLBI and GNSS in New Zealand and Australia

Overview of GNSS activities in New Zealand, NZGD2000 and connection to the ITRF - Graeme Blick (15 min)
A review on NZ GNSS activities – John Beavan (20 min)
New Zealand IVS Network Station: New Zealand development towards VLBI2010 – Sergei Gulyaev, Tim Natusch  (15 min)
AuScope project overview: integrating the space geodesy techniques – Gary Johnston, John Dawson (20 min)
Trans-Tasman VLBI and AuScope project – Oleg Titov, Jim Lovell, John Dickey, Sergei Gulyaev, Tim Natusch (20 min)

12:30 – 13:30  LUNCH

13:30 – 15:00  VLBI and GNSS Techniques

MARBLE (Multiple Antenna Radio-interferometer for Baseline Length Evaluation): Development of a compact VLBI system for calibrating GNSS and electronic distance measurement devices – Ryuichi Ichikawa (15 min)
Computing the tie between a VLBI and co-located GNSS receiver – Gary Johnston (15 min)
Concept of geodetic fundamental stations and its meaning to the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) – Hayo Hase (15 min)
VLBI2010: Mark 5 development – Alan Whitney (15 min)
VLBI tracking of GNSS constellations: measurement principles and procedures - Vincenza Tornatore (15 min)
The CE-1 orbit tracking with Chinese VLBI Network - Zhang Xiuzhong (15 min)

15:00 – 15:30  BREAK

15:30 – 16:30  Astrometry

VLBI and Microarcsecond Astrometry – relativistic and cosmological applications – Oleg Titov (30 min)
Pulsar Astrometry – Dick Manchester (30 min)

16:30 – 17:00  Discussion, wrap-up and closing (Harald Schuh)

Tuesday 16 February

09:30 – 10:30  Opening and Overview

Opening and Welcome – Derek McCormack (AUT Vice-Chancellor), Sergei Gulyaev, Dick Manchester (15 min)
SKA Project Overview – Brian Boyle (invited) (30 min)
SKA - the New Zealand Perspective - Jonathan Kings (invited) (15m)

11:00 – 12:30  ASKAP

The Australian SKA Pathfinder – Dave DeBoer (invited) (30 min)
ASKAP Science Overview – Baerbel Koribalski (invited) (30 min)
New Zealand’s role in ASKAP – Sergei Gulyaev (invited) (30 min)

14:00 – 18:00  Visit to Warkworth Observatory and Winery for wine tasting

Wednesday 17 February

09:00 – 10:40  SKA Development in Australia

WA Infrastructure Development – Antony Schinckel (invited) (30 min)
Data processing challenges for SKA and ASKAP – Tim Cornwell (invited) (30 min)
Phased-Array Feeds for ASKAP and SKA - Aaron Chippendale (invited) (20 min)
Beam-forming systems - John Bunton (invited) (20 min)

11:10 – 12:40  SKA Development in New Zealand

SKA Engineering Developments in New Zealand –Tim Molteno (invited) (20 min)
Imaging for large-N large-b radio astronomy – Colin Fox (invited) (20 min)
Towards Trans-Tasman eVLBI – Donald Clark (invited) (20 min)
New signal processing algorithms for the SKA - Philip Bones & Rick Millane (15 min)
Applications of redundant number systems to SKA signal processing? - Michael Hayes & Andrew Bainbridge-Smith (15 min)

13:40 – 15:20  SKA Development

RFI Protection - Carol Wilson (invited) (20 min)
University of Calgary SKA Engineering research - Len Bruton (20 min)
Developments in WA: ICRAR and The Pawsey Centre - Peter Quinn & Andrew Rohl  (15 min)
ASKAP calibration model - Max Voronkov (15 min)
The foundation of radio astronomy in New Zealand - Peter Robertson (15 min)
Poster presentations (2 min each)

15:50 - 17:30  Key ScienceProbing AGN physics with the SKA – Roy Kerr (invited) (30 min)
Pulsars, General Relativity and the SKA - Willem van Straten (invited) (30 min)
The SKA - the global wavelength observatory - Joe Lazio (20 min)
Space and planetary science: "near field" applications of the SKA - Leonid Gurvits (20 min)

18:30  Conference Dinner in The Observatory Buffet Restaurant, Sky Tower, Corner Victoria and Federal Streets

Thursday 18 February

09:00 - 10:30  Key Science (continued)

Galaxy Evolution and Cosmology and the SKA – Virginia Kilborn (invited) (30 min)
Cosmic Magnetism – Bryan Gaensler (invited) (30 min)
Cluster science with the ASKAP-EMU Survey - Melanie Johnston-Hollitt (15 min)
Probing evolutionary mechanisms in galaxy clusters: Neutral atomic hydrogen - Tom Scott (15 min)

11:00 – 12:35  Related Topics

Optical Astronomy in NZ - Karen Pollard (invited) (30 min)
Some lessons from the ALMA Project for the SKA - Peter Napier (invited) (20 min)
The Uniboard - Arpad Szomoru (15 min)
Low cost antenna system design and fabrication - Peter Shield (15 min)
E-control: first public release of remote control software for VLBI-telescopes - Alexander Neidhardt (15min)

13:35 – 15:05  Key Science

The high angular resolution component of the SKA – Steven Tingay (invited) (30 min)
The current status of Southern Hemisphere Astronomical VLBI - Phil Edwards (15 min)
Hydrogen EoR Arrays: MWA to SKA - Lincoln Greenhill (invited) (30 min)
Jets from (NS) X-ray binaries - Simone Migliari (15 min)

15:25 - 16:20  Key Science and Summary

Exploration of the Unknown – Ron Ekers (invited) (40 min)

Conference Summary and Closing - Dick Manchester (15 min)

Friday 19 February

The proposedAustralasian VLBI Operations and Technical Meetinghas been cancelled.

Note: Listed times include question time

Invited speakers are indicated by *

Aaron Chippendale*
Ajit Narayanan
Alan Whitney*
Alexander Neidhardt
Ali ALShahwani
Anastasios Tzioumis
Andrew Rohl
Andrew Watson
Antony Schinckel*
Arpad Szomoru
Baerbel Koribalski*
Bill Petrachenko
Bonnie Horne
Brian Boyle*
Bryan Gaensler*
Carol Wilson*
Charles Jarvie
Chris Rizos*
Clive Rowe
Colin Fox*
Dave Collett
David DeBoer*
David Stutely
Dayton Jones
Delwyn Dickey
Desmond Darby
Dick Manchester*
Dimitri Dranitsa
Dirk Behrend*
Donald Clark*
Dougal Watt
Douglas Bock
Francisco Colomer
Frane Karaman
Glenn Urquhart
Graeme Blick*
Graham Hill
Grant Christie
Griffin Foster
Harald Schuh*
Hayo Hase
Helen McRae
Ian Kennedy
Jack Storey
Jesus Gomez-Gonzalez
John Beavan*
John Bunton*
John Hearnshaw
Jonathan Kings*
Jordan Alexander
Joseph Lazio
Jungho Cho
Karen Chance
Karen Pollard*
Kevin Parkinson
Kimberley Clayfield
Kotaro Niinuma
Leonard Bruton
Leonid Gurvits
Lincoln Greenhill
Lister Staveley-Smith
Ma Chopo
Mahmoud Mahmoud
Max Soriano
Maxim Voronkov
Melanie Johnston-Hollitt
Michael Hayes
Oleg Titov*
Patrick Charlot
Paul Banks
Peter Napier*
Peter Quinn
Peter Robertson
Peter Shield
Philip Bones
Philip Edwards
Rasheed Raheem
Richard Porcas
Rick Millane
Robert Braun
Robert Heinkelmann*
Robert Tenzer
Roger Wanless
Ron Ekers*
Roy Kerr*
Ryuichi Ichikawa*
Sergei Gulyaev*
Shane O'Sullivan
Simone Migliari
Slava Kitaev
Steven Tingay*
Tak Fai Law
Tim Cornwell*
Tim Molteno*
Tim Natusch*
Tom Scott
Venkata Devata
Vincenza Tornatore*
Virginia Kilborn*
Vivek Langer
Walid Majid
Warrick Couch
Warrick Lawson
Warwick Kissling
Willem van Straten*
William Choquette
Younghee Kwak
Zhang Xiuzhong*


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Organising Committees

Science Organising Committee

  • Matthew Bailes
  • Timothy David
  • Ilana Feain
  • Bryan Gaensler
  • Lincoln Greenhill
  • Sergei Gulyaev
  • Melanie Johnston-Hollit
  • Baerbel Koribalski
  • Dick Manchester (Chair)
  • Tim Molteno
  • Tara Murphy
  • Steven Tingay
  • Tasso Tzioumis

Local Organising Committee

  • Sergei Gulyaev (Chair)
  • Saide Lo
  • Ajit Narayanan
  • Tim Natusch
  • Patricia Sallis