Development through Radio Astronomy Global Network

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

We propose to build partnerships between the three separate projects in development through radio astronomy that we have already established via the Newton Fund in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. This collaboration will form a global network of expertise in the mobilization of radio astronomy for economic development. The network will establish and build 'south-south' connections that will help the sharing of experiences and lessons learned in how to translate the high tech skills of radio astronomy into local job creation and entrepreneurship. The activities in this project centre on four international workshops that each focus on a key aspect of economic development through radio astronomy research. These include the conversion of old telecommunications dishes into radio telescopes, the formation of regional collaborations using networks of radio telescopes working together, utilizing the big data aspects of radio astronomy for translation into other areas of industry and commerce, and the transfer of the high tech skills in radio astronomy into the related areas of space science, geodesy, satellite communications and telecommunications and entrepreneurship. We will encourage other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the three continental regions to join the established activities and build strong regional collaborations around this theme. This will help cement the UK's position as a world leader in radio astronomy and its applications.

Planned Impact

The proposed workshops in this project will transfer knowledge in how the skills, techniques and technologies involved radio astronomy can be used for economic development in a range of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These include mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering skills involved in the conversion of old 32 m telecommunications dishes into radio telescopes and equipping them with state-of-the-art receivers. The development of regional collaborations around the use of networks of converted dishes as an interferometer will be discussed as a way to spread these skills more widely and build new scientific partnerships. The potential for big data techniques in radio astronomy to be utilized for enhancing wealth creation in industrial and commercial sectors will be highlighted. Our industrial partners and their contacts will demonstrate the various ways in which synergies between radio astronomy and the related areas of space science, satellite communications, deep space communications and telecommunications can be exploited to generate jobs and revenue. As a result of this project we will have build a global network of expertise in the use of radio astronomy for economic development in LMICs and strengthened the position of the UK in this field.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description A new global network of participants who what to develop radio astronomy and related space sector activities in their respective developing countries. The 4 GCRF workshops attracted 170 participants with representatives from 29 different low- and middle-income countries. The 29 different DAC countries. Those represented were: Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Ecuador, Guatemala, Argentina, Brasil, Costa Rica, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China. The participants from developing countries made contact with experts from Europe, North America, South Africa and Japan.

A new collaboration to develop a network of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) radio telescopes across Latin America - the so-called Iniciativa VLBI Ibero-Americana (IVIA) began as a result of this project. This new endeavour arose directly from a coming together of participants from those countries during the first two GCRF workshops.
Prior to the workshops there were small individual radio astronomy projects ongoing in different Latin American countries. A Newton Fund project in Mexico was converting a 32m ex-telecoms dish in to a radio telescope, whilst in Colombia another was funding training in big data techniques in radio astronomy and their translation in to agriculture and health spheres. A dish had already been converted Peru and a new conversion was getting underway in Uruguay. However, there was limited contact between the groups and no vision to link them up as a VLBI network.

During the workshops this vision quickly materialized. New Latin American countries identified 30 m class dishes that could be converted in to telescopes, notably Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica. Argentia would also like add its new 40 m telescope. In Ecuador, the dish to be converted was newly identified as a direct result of the GCRF workshops and in Brazil interest in converting dishes was reinvigorated. The potential of such a new network of telescopes not only for radio astronomy, but for a wide range of applications in areas such as geodesy, spacecraft tracking and satellite communications was also discussed. To cement this new collaboration a Letter of Intent was drawn up at the workshop in Mexico to initiate the IVIA (www.ivia-net.org). This also highlighted the potential to coordinate links with local industry and development opportunities. As such, Argentina, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Brazil were added to the radio astronomy networks within the Andean Regional Office of Astronomy for Development run by the International Astronomical Union.

In Africa, astronomers in Algeria identified 30 m dishes that could be converted in to radio telescopes as a result of participation in this project and they are now pursuing funding to achieve this. They would like to join in with the arrays of existing radio telescopes in Europe and the emerging array in Africa. Similarly, Indonesia has identified a 30 m dish to convert and join with the SE Asian networks, including the new 40 m telescope in Thailand.

These dish conversion projects will lead to job and wealth creation in each of the developing countries.
Exploitation Route Several of the countries and now pursuing funding to enable them to begin the process of converting the dishes that have been identified.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Environment,Other

URL https://dragn.info/
 
Description In several developing countries new dish conversion projects were initiated as a result of the activities of this GCRF project. A good example is Ecuador which had no radio astronomy facilities prior to the workshops. The Director of the Quito Astronomical Observatory attended the first workshop and was inspired to investigate whether there were any 30 m class ex-telecommunications dishes were available in Ecuador. By the time of the second workshop, just one month later, he had already located a 30 m antenna in very good condition. Soon afterwards the process to transfer the ownership of the antenna to the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador was initiated and the final agreement is now being prepared. A technical evaluation of the antenna has been carried out, negotiations with the relevant government agencies have gone well, and the University is also considering funding the conversion work. Hence, the University, and Ecuador as a whole, will gain a new national science facility. Engineers from Ecuador also attended the GCRF workshops where they were learned about the range of engineering tasks involved in the conversion (mechanics, electronics, telecommunications, information networks) and the resources required (economic, human capital, technology). The conversion work will create jobs for engineers, whilst a working observatory will require about 30 staff to run and maintain, thereby benefiting the local economy in Quito. The skills required to operate and maintain a radio telescope can also be used for satellite ground stations, thus opening up the possibility of future space sector businesses on the same location. Some of the high end skills for radio astronomy instrumentation, such as digial signal processing and FPGA programming, are translatable into other industrial sectors. The workshops also enabled the Ecuadoran representatives to discuss ideas related to Big Data, machine learning and digital technology that underpins the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The redeveloped ground station site can therefore become a hub for high tech industry and entrepreneurs benefiting the wider Ecuadorean economy. In Algeria, after being invited to the GCRF workshops, Dr Nassim Seghouani, Head of the High Energy Astrophysics Division at the Center for Research in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Geophysics at the Algiers Observatory and a communication engineer, Faycal Tadjin, undertook a visit to a telecom company that hosts two defunct 30 m class antennas at Lakhdaria in Algeria. As a consequence of the workshops Dr Seghouani has since been able to advocate for the creation of a radio astronomy facility with the General Director of Research in Algeria showing all the potential aspects: scientific, economic and regional collaboration. A project team is being assembled to carry the dish conversion project forward In Brazil, Prof Jacques Lepine, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Sa~o Paulo, already had the idea of using a 32 m antenna at Tangua´ as a radio telescope some years ago. However, it was his attendance at the second GCRF workshop in Mexico that triggered a plan to make this a reality. On his return he set about building a team of interested parties. Collegues from MacKenzie University in Sa~o Paulo and the National Observatory in Rio de Janeiro, as well as members of the Museum of Astronomy and Affiliated Sciences, enthusiastically joined the effort. A visit to the antenna at Tangua´ near Rio de Janerio was organized and a detailed inspection of the dish carried out to asses the work required to execute the conversion. Together with telecom engineers on the site an estimate of $200k was made of the cost of the conversion work. The telecom firm that owns the site, Star One, were also keen to help the scientific community and they have already given authorization for the use of their antenna as a radio telescope. They have also agreed to continue to maintain the antenna once converted. In Uruguay, the GCRF project boosted the ongoing dish conversion project which is creating new engineering jobs. Similarly, in Mexico this project brought new contacts that are being used by the ongoing conversion project there that is being funded by a separate Newton Fund project. This is securing and creating new jobs at the former Earth station site at Tulancingo in Hidalgo State in collaboration with the Mexican Space Agency. A subsequent allocation of GCRF institutional funds to the University of Leeds allowed an experienced antenna engineer from the UK to visit both Uruguay and Mexico to assist with the conversion efforts. By creating technical jobs and enhancing scientific and technological capabilities this project addresses SDG 4.4 and 9.5. The creation of the global network included new South-South and North-South collaborations thus also addressing SDG 17.6. By its very nature this project aimed to increase participation in the field of radio astronomy by citizens from countries that traditionally have been very under-represented or entirely absent. In particular, the project expanded interest in Africa beyond those countries that are already participating in the next generation Square Kilometre Array radio facililty. This will result in better represenation from BAME communities in this high tech field. Radio astronomy engineering is traditionally a male-dominated area. Since many of our participants were senior representatives from the field this was reflected in the poor fraction of female participants that ranged from 5 to 25% in the workshops. Efforts were made by each organising committee to invite senior female role models that included the Head of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory's Africa Programme, the Chief Engineer of the Ghana conversion project, and a Professor of Radio Astronomy Instrumentation.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Other
Impact Types Economic

 
Description UKRI GCRF IAA Award Business and Antenna Consultants
Amount £50,247 (GBP)
Organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation 
Department Global Challenges Research Fund
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description GSSTI - GCRF 
Organisation Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute
Country Ghana 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Leeds organised jointly with GSSTI and University of Manchester an international workshop on Dish Conversion for 50 participants from 24 different countries, many of which were from low and middle income countries (LMICs).
Collaborator Contribution GSSTI hosted the workshop in Accra in January 2019.
Impact Many participants from LMICs reported that they would seek to initiate dish conversions in their countries that will ultimately create jobs and result in skills transfer. A website repository of documents to assist with the dish conversion process was established. The meeting was opened by the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI).
Start Year 2018
 
Description GSSTI - GCRF 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leeds organised jointly with GSSTI and University of Manchester an international workshop on Dish Conversion for 50 participants from 24 different countries, many of which were from low and middle income countries (LMICs).
Collaborator Contribution GSSTI hosted the workshop in Accra in January 2019.
Impact Many participants from LMICs reported that they would seek to initiate dish conversions in their countries that will ultimately create jobs and result in skills transfer. A website repository of documents to assist with the dish conversion process was established. The meeting was opened by the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI).
Start Year 2018
 
Description INICIATIVA VLBI IBERO AMERICANA 
Organisation Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Astronomy, Argentina
Country Argentina 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This new partnership was initiated and developed during the workshops funded by this award. Prof Hoare as PI had floated the possibility of a Latin American VLBI network made up of converted telecoms dishes during the opening talks of the first two workshops and the participants from the Latin American DAC countries took up this idea during the meetings and self-organized in to a new collaboration. During previous visits to Peru, Mexico and Colombia by Prof Hoare the idea of converting and connecting dishes had emerged.
Collaborator Contribution The Latin American participants together with representatives from Spain and Portugal also at the meeting developed the initial idea and the collaboration is now ongoing. Latin American participants attended the Economic Development and Big Data workshops to learn how such a network of dishes would also have the potential for economic benefit via cross-over in to space and geophysical applications.
Impact Collaboration is at an early stage with a statement of intent drawn up and a website. Dish conversion work is ongoing in Mexico via another related Newton Fund project and University of Leeds funded Antenna Consultant has assisted both Uruguay and Mexico with their dish conversions.
Start Year 2019
 
Description INICIATIVA VLBI IBERO AMERICANA 
Organisation Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining
Country Uruguay 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This new partnership was initiated and developed during the workshops funded by this award. Prof Hoare as PI had floated the possibility of a Latin American VLBI network made up of converted telecoms dishes during the opening talks of the first two workshops and the participants from the Latin American DAC countries took up this idea during the meetings and self-organized in to a new collaboration. During previous visits to Peru, Mexico and Colombia by Prof Hoare the idea of converting and connecting dishes had emerged.
Collaborator Contribution The Latin American participants together with representatives from Spain and Portugal also at the meeting developed the initial idea and the collaboration is now ongoing. Latin American participants attended the Economic Development and Big Data workshops to learn how such a network of dishes would also have the potential for economic benefit via cross-over in to space and geophysical applications.
Impact Collaboration is at an early stage with a statement of intent drawn up and a website. Dish conversion work is ongoing in Mexico via another related Newton Fund project and University of Leeds funded Antenna Consultant has assisted both Uruguay and Mexico with their dish conversions.
Start Year 2019
 
Description INICIATIVA VLBI IBERO AMERICANA 
Organisation National Autonomous University of Mexico
Country Mexico 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This new partnership was initiated and developed during the workshops funded by this award. Prof Hoare as PI had floated the possibility of a Latin American VLBI network made up of converted telecoms dishes during the opening talks of the first two workshops and the participants from the Latin American DAC countries took up this idea during the meetings and self-organized in to a new collaboration. During previous visits to Peru, Mexico and Colombia by Prof Hoare the idea of converting and connecting dishes had emerged.
Collaborator Contribution The Latin American participants together with representatives from Spain and Portugal also at the meeting developed the initial idea and the collaboration is now ongoing. Latin American participants attended the Economic Development and Big Data workshops to learn how such a network of dishes would also have the potential for economic benefit via cross-over in to space and geophysical applications.
Impact Collaboration is at an early stage with a statement of intent drawn up and a website. Dish conversion work is ongoing in Mexico via another related Newton Fund project and University of Leeds funded Antenna Consultant has assisted both Uruguay and Mexico with their dish conversions.
Start Year 2019
 
Description INICIATIVA VLBI IBERO AMERICANA 
Organisation National Geographic Institute
Country Spain 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This new partnership was initiated and developed during the workshops funded by this award. Prof Hoare as PI had floated the possibility of a Latin American VLBI network made up of converted telecoms dishes during the opening talks of the first two workshops and the participants from the Latin American DAC countries took up this idea during the meetings and self-organized in to a new collaboration. During previous visits to Peru, Mexico and Colombia by Prof Hoare the idea of converting and connecting dishes had emerged.
Collaborator Contribution The Latin American participants together with representatives from Spain and Portugal also at the meeting developed the initial idea and the collaboration is now ongoing. Latin American participants attended the Economic Development and Big Data workshops to learn how such a network of dishes would also have the potential for economic benefit via cross-over in to space and geophysical applications.
Impact Collaboration is at an early stage with a statement of intent drawn up and a website. Dish conversion work is ongoing in Mexico via another related Newton Fund project and University of Leeds funded Antenna Consultant has assisted both Uruguay and Mexico with their dish conversions.
Start Year 2019
 
Description INICIATIVA VLBI IBERO AMERICANA 
Organisation National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics
Country Mexico 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This new partnership was initiated and developed during the workshops funded by this award. Prof Hoare as PI had floated the possibility of a Latin American VLBI network made up of converted telecoms dishes during the opening talks of the first two workshops and the participants from the Latin American DAC countries took up this idea during the meetings and self-organized in to a new collaboration. During previous visits to Peru, Mexico and Colombia by Prof Hoare the idea of converting and connecting dishes had emerged.
Collaborator Contribution The Latin American participants together with representatives from Spain and Portugal also at the meeting developed the initial idea and the collaboration is now ongoing. Latin American participants attended the Economic Development and Big Data workshops to learn how such a network of dishes would also have the potential for economic benefit via cross-over in to space and geophysical applications.
Impact Collaboration is at an early stage with a statement of intent drawn up and a website. Dish conversion work is ongoing in Mexico via another related Newton Fund project and University of Leeds funded Antenna Consultant has assisted both Uruguay and Mexico with their dish conversions.
Start Year 2019
 
Description INICIATIVA VLBI IBERO AMERICANA 
Organisation National Polytechnic School
Country Ecuador 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This new partnership was initiated and developed during the workshops funded by this award. Prof Hoare as PI had floated the possibility of a Latin American VLBI network made up of converted telecoms dishes during the opening talks of the first two workshops and the participants from the Latin American DAC countries took up this idea during the meetings and self-organized in to a new collaboration. During previous visits to Peru, Mexico and Colombia by Prof Hoare the idea of converting and connecting dishes had emerged.
Collaborator Contribution The Latin American participants together with representatives from Spain and Portugal also at the meeting developed the initial idea and the collaboration is now ongoing. Latin American participants attended the Economic Development and Big Data workshops to learn how such a network of dishes would also have the potential for economic benefit via cross-over in to space and geophysical applications.
Impact Collaboration is at an early stage with a statement of intent drawn up and a website. Dish conversion work is ongoing in Mexico via another related Newton Fund project and University of Leeds funded Antenna Consultant has assisted both Uruguay and Mexico with their dish conversions.
Start Year 2019
 
Description INICIATIVA VLBI IBERO AMERICANA 
Organisation National University of the Center of Peru
Country Peru 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This new partnership was initiated and developed during the workshops funded by this award. Prof Hoare as PI had floated the possibility of a Latin American VLBI network made up of converted telecoms dishes during the opening talks of the first two workshops and the participants from the Latin American DAC countries took up this idea during the meetings and self-organized in to a new collaboration. During previous visits to Peru, Mexico and Colombia by Prof Hoare the idea of converting and connecting dishes had emerged.
Collaborator Contribution The Latin American participants together with representatives from Spain and Portugal also at the meeting developed the initial idea and the collaboration is now ongoing. Latin American participants attended the Economic Development and Big Data workshops to learn how such a network of dishes would also have the potential for economic benefit via cross-over in to space and geophysical applications.
Impact Collaboration is at an early stage with a statement of intent drawn up and a website. Dish conversion work is ongoing in Mexico via another related Newton Fund project and University of Leeds funded Antenna Consultant has assisted both Uruguay and Mexico with their dish conversions.
Start Year 2019
 
Description INICIATIVA VLBI IBERO AMERICANA 
Organisation Universidad ECCI, Colombia
Country Colombia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This new partnership was initiated and developed during the workshops funded by this award. Prof Hoare as PI had floated the possibility of a Latin American VLBI network made up of converted telecoms dishes during the opening talks of the first two workshops and the participants from the Latin American DAC countries took up this idea during the meetings and self-organized in to a new collaboration. During previous visits to Peru, Mexico and Colombia by Prof Hoare the idea of converting and connecting dishes had emerged.
Collaborator Contribution The Latin American participants together with representatives from Spain and Portugal also at the meeting developed the initial idea and the collaboration is now ongoing. Latin American participants attended the Economic Development and Big Data workshops to learn how such a network of dishes would also have the potential for economic benefit via cross-over in to space and geophysical applications.
Impact Collaboration is at an early stage with a statement of intent drawn up and a website. Dish conversion work is ongoing in Mexico via another related Newton Fund project and University of Leeds funded Antenna Consultant has assisted both Uruguay and Mexico with their dish conversions.
Start Year 2019
 
Description INICIATIVA VLBI IBERO AMERICANA 
Organisation Universidade de São Paulo
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This new partnership was initiated and developed during the workshops funded by this award. Prof Hoare as PI had floated the possibility of a Latin American VLBI network made up of converted telecoms dishes during the opening talks of the first two workshops and the participants from the Latin American DAC countries took up this idea during the meetings and self-organized in to a new collaboration. During previous visits to Peru, Mexico and Colombia by Prof Hoare the idea of converting and connecting dishes had emerged.
Collaborator Contribution The Latin American participants together with representatives from Spain and Portugal also at the meeting developed the initial idea and the collaboration is now ongoing. Latin American participants attended the Economic Development and Big Data workshops to learn how such a network of dishes would also have the potential for economic benefit via cross-over in to space and geophysical applications.
Impact Collaboration is at an early stage with a statement of intent drawn up and a website. Dish conversion work is ongoing in Mexico via another related Newton Fund project and University of Leeds funded Antenna Consultant has assisted both Uruguay and Mexico with their dish conversions.
Start Year 2019
 
Description INICIATIVA VLBI IBERO AMERICANA 
Organisation University of Costa Rica
Country Costa Rica 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This new partnership was initiated and developed during the workshops funded by this award. Prof Hoare as PI had floated the possibility of a Latin American VLBI network made up of converted telecoms dishes during the opening talks of the first two workshops and the participants from the Latin American DAC countries took up this idea during the meetings and self-organized in to a new collaboration. During previous visits to Peru, Mexico and Colombia by Prof Hoare the idea of converting and connecting dishes had emerged.
Collaborator Contribution The Latin American participants together with representatives from Spain and Portugal also at the meeting developed the initial idea and the collaboration is now ongoing. Latin American participants attended the Economic Development and Big Data workshops to learn how such a network of dishes would also have the potential for economic benefit via cross-over in to space and geophysical applications.
Impact Collaboration is at an early stage with a statement of intent drawn up and a website. Dish conversion work is ongoing in Mexico via another related Newton Fund project and University of Leeds funded Antenna Consultant has assisted both Uruguay and Mexico with their dish conversions.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NARIT - GCRF 
Organisation National Astronomical Research Institute Of Thailand
Country Thailand 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Leeds, together with Manchester and Herts will organise a workshop on Big Data and Digital Technologies in radio astronomy at NARIT in Thailand in Sep 2019.
Collaborator Contribution NARIT will host the workshop.
Impact None yet.
Start Year 2018
 
Description NARIT - GCRF 
Organisation University of Hertfordshire
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leeds, together with Manchester and Herts will organise a workshop on Big Data and Digital Technologies in radio astronomy at NARIT in Thailand in Sep 2019.
Collaborator Contribution NARIT will host the workshop.
Impact None yet.
Start Year 2018
 
Description NARIT - GCRF 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leeds, together with Manchester and Herts will organise a workshop on Big Data and Digital Technologies in radio astronomy at NARIT in Thailand in Sep 2019.
Collaborator Contribution NARIT will host the workshop.
Impact None yet.
Start Year 2018
 
Description UNAM - GCRF 
Organisation National Autonomous University of Mexico
Country Mexico 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leeds, together with Herts and UCLan organised an international workshop on Regional VLBI in Mexico City in February 2019. 45 participants from 30 countries including many from LMICs attended.
Collaborator Contribution UNAM hosted the workshop in Mexico City.
Impact The Latin American participants have drawn up a letter of intent for their governments that they would like to establish a Latin American VLBI Network consisting of converted dishes in each of their countries. The African participants will start a forum to bring together the various initiatives on radio astronomy within countries participating in the African VLBI Network/SKA as well as other African countries. The SE Asian participants will initiate regular communications and annual meetings to help countries with converted dishes and new dishes to join the East Asian VLBI Network.
Start Year 2018
 
Description UNAM - GCRF 
Organisation University of Central Lancashire
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leeds, together with Herts and UCLan organised an international workshop on Regional VLBI in Mexico City in February 2019. 45 participants from 30 countries including many from LMICs attended.
Collaborator Contribution UNAM hosted the workshop in Mexico City.
Impact The Latin American participants have drawn up a letter of intent for their governments that they would like to establish a Latin American VLBI Network consisting of converted dishes in each of their countries. The African participants will start a forum to bring together the various initiatives on radio astronomy within countries participating in the African VLBI Network/SKA as well as other African countries. The SE Asian participants will initiate regular communications and annual meetings to help countries with converted dishes and new dishes to join the East Asian VLBI Network.
Start Year 2018
 
Description UNAM - GCRF 
Organisation University of Hertfordshire
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leeds, together with Herts and UCLan organised an international workshop on Regional VLBI in Mexico City in February 2019. 45 participants from 30 countries including many from LMICs attended.
Collaborator Contribution UNAM hosted the workshop in Mexico City.
Impact The Latin American participants have drawn up a letter of intent for their governments that they would like to establish a Latin American VLBI Network consisting of converted dishes in each of their countries. The African participants will start a forum to bring together the various initiatives on radio astronomy within countries participating in the African VLBI Network/SKA as well as other African countries. The SE Asian participants will initiate regular communications and annual meetings to help countries with converted dishes and new dishes to join the East Asian VLBI Network.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Big Data and Digital Technology Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 28 participants from 12 different countries including 9 on the DAC list attended this workshop hosted by NARIT in Thailand. Discussions were had as to how the techniques and technologies being used and developed in radio astronomy to handle the big data aspects of the field can be applied to other fields in industry and commerce to generate economic development in LMIC countries. Participants reported an increased interest in exploiting big data technologies and techniques as a result.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://indico.narit.or.th/event/128/
 
Description DRAGN Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Website promoting the four international workshops and aims of the project. This website has been used as a pointer and attracted other inquiries about dish conversions and the potential for economic impact from a wider range of practitioners than just those who attended the workshops.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://dragn.info/
 
Description Dish Conversion Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International workshop on Dish Conversion that brought together 24 participants from LMICs who aspire to convert a dish in to a radio telescope with experts from countries who have successfully converted a dish already.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://dragn.info/dish-conversion/
 
Description Economic Development Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 40 participants from 20 different countries including 17 DAC countries attended a week long workshop hosted by Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd in the UK. It brought together experts in related industries with radio astronomers in developing countries to explore the opportunities for job creation and entrepreneurship linked to the emergence of local radio astronomy infrastructure and expertise. The related industries involved space science, remote sensing, satellite communications, telecommunications, geodetic applications and big data. Participants reported an increased interest in developing links with industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://dragn.info/economic-development/
 
Description Regional VLBI Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop on the science and development opportunties that can be carried out with a regional VLBI network. Participants from 30 LMICs joined together with experts who run regional and global VLBI networks. Plans made to advance regional VLBI in Latin America, Africa and SE Asia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://star.herts.ac.uk/regvlbi/