Newton STFC-NARIT Capacity Building for Thai Radio Astronomy Phase 2

Lead Research Organisation: University of Hertfordshire
Department Name: School of Physics, Astronomy and Maths

Abstract

Thailand is planning a major investment in radio astronomy, with the development of a new world-class radio telescope (the Thai National Radio Telescope). This facility is a strategic priority for Thai research as radio astronomy incorporates many key skills of value to a developing knowledge economy (engineering, electronics, information technology, computational and communications technology). However the project comes with significant human capacity and skills development challenges in that currently Thailand has few radio astronomers or engineers who can design, construct and operate the telescope. Our project is designed to address these challenges using the UK's long heritage and highly developed skills in radio astronomy. The UK has a leadership role in the world's next generation radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array, and so places a high strategic priority on the global development of radio astronomy and the training of future generations of radio astronomers who will exploit this long-term project.

We will partner with the Thai astronomical and technical community to transfer specific technical knowledge of radio astronomy instrumentation and to also bolster the Thai astronomical skill base. We will carry out a joint programme programme of training, outreach, and bilateral exchanges to strengthen the Thai radio astronomy community and develop skilled human capital via training in radio astronomy, required computer skills and instrumentation. Our programme will not only help to develop the skills that Thailand needs for the Thai National Radio Telescope but will also have impact on the wider economy through the increased uptake of graduates in Science Technology Engineering and Medicine (STEM), and upskilling of current graduates and postgraduates in electronics, information & communications technology and advanced data processing.

Planned Impact

The ultimate goal of this proposal is to drive economic impact in Thailand through technological skills transfer and the development of highly skilled STEM graduates and undergraduates. Astronomy has a long tradition of inspiring generations of students to take up science and technology studies. The fundamental questions of the Universe that are posed by astronomy encourage students to develop an inquisitive mindset and wide-ranging problem solving skills, combined with training in presentation, investigation, numeracy, analysis and computation. Following their studies many astronomy students then go on to apply these high level skills to other areas of the wider knowledge-based economy. This is particularly true of radio astronomy, where technological developments in radio interferometry were applied to solve the problems of wireless communication between computers, ultimately resulting in WiFi.

This proposal has significant scope for further impact due to its multi-level approach, including extensive technical skills transfer in economically relevant sectors, bilateral exchanges of skilled staff, upskilling of current graduate and postgraduate students, and the broad outreach to Thai school students through the regional planetarium network. Our project will cement the current UK-Thai cooperation in radio astronomy and assist the successful development of the world-class Thai National Radio Telescope and its full scientific exploitation. As a result we will provide a strong pull-through factor to increase STEM education in Thailand and the depth of international cooperation in the UK. Both of these are strategic priorities for each country.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Cpacity Building for Thai Radio Astronomy 
Organisation National Astronomical Research Institute Of Thailand
Country Thailand 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Leading capacity building project between UK and Thailand. Delivering research training in radio astronomy within Thailand. Coordinating exchange programme between UK and Thai academics
Collaborator Contribution Delivering research training in radio astronomy within Thailand. Carrying out exchange programme between UK and Thai academics
Impact No outputs have resulted from this programme yet.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cpacity Building for Thai Radio Astronomy 
Organisation Thailand's National Electronics and Computer Technology Center
PI Contribution Leading capacity building project between UK and Thailand. Delivering research training in radio astronomy within Thailand. Coordinating exchange programme between UK and Thai academics
Collaborator Contribution Delivering research training in radio astronomy within Thailand. Carrying out exchange programme between UK and Thai academics
Impact No outputs have resulted from this programme yet.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cpacity Building for Thai Radio Astronomy 
Organisation University of Leeds
Department School of Physics and Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leading capacity building project between UK and Thailand. Delivering research training in radio astronomy within Thailand. Coordinating exchange programme between UK and Thai academics
Collaborator Contribution Delivering research training in radio astronomy within Thailand. Carrying out exchange programme between UK and Thai academics
Impact No outputs have resulted from this programme yet.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cpacity Building for Thai Radio Astronomy 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department School of Physics and Astronomy Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leading capacity building project between UK and Thailand. Delivering research training in radio astronomy within Thailand. Coordinating exchange programme between UK and Thai academics
Collaborator Contribution Delivering research training in radio astronomy within Thailand. Carrying out exchange programme between UK and Thai academics
Impact No outputs have resulted from this programme yet.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Visit of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to JBCA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The grant supported the PI to visit and present to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand during her visit to JBCA. The princess and her entourage (approx 10 people) attended a presentation on the STFC-NARIT capacity building project, which sparked questions afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/thai-princess-visits-jodrell-bank-observatory/