The objective of "Novel EXplorations Pushing Robust e-VLBI Services" (NEXPReS) is to offer enhanced scientific performance for all use of the European VLBI Network (EVN) and its partners. The proposed activities will allow the introduction of an e-VLBI component to every experiment, aiming for enhanced robustness, flexibility and sensitivity. This will boost the scientific capability of this distributed facility and offer better data quality and deeper images of the radio sky to a larger number of astronomers. In the past years, e-VLBI has been successfully introduced for real-time, high-resolution radio astronomy. Due to limitations in connectivity, bandwidth and processing capacity, this enhanced mode cannot be offered to all astronomers yet, in spite of its obvious advantages. By providing transparent buffering mechanisms at telescope and correlator it will be possible to address all the current and future bottlenecks in e-VLBI, overcoming limited connectivity to essential stations or network failures, all but eliminating the need for physical transport of magnetic media. Such a scheme will be far more efficient, and ultimately greener, than the current model, in which complex logistics and a large over-capacity of disks are needed to accommodate global observations. It will require high-speed recording hardware, as well as software systems that hide all complexity. Real-time grid computing and high bandwidth on demand will be addressed as well, to improve both the continuous usage of the network and prepare the EVN for the higher bandwidths which will ensure it will remain the most sensitive VLBI array in the world. The proposed programme will strengthen the collaboration between the European radio-astronomical and ICT communities. This will be essential to maintain Europe's leading role in the global SKA project.
Full Professor at Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Alcala De Henares/Madrid, Spain
Manchester, United Kingdom
Funding Chalmers participation during 2010–2013