Newsletter Issue 11/2020


                  Stay healthy and safe!

The RadioNet infrastructures are operating. To find more about the postponed events - visit our calendar.

OPTICON RadioNet Pilot (ORP) project approved by the European Commission

EC approved the ORP project

Great news for the radio and optical community! The European Commission approved the new project OPTICON RadioNet Pilot (ORP), which mobilizes the two flagship communities of advanced radio and optical/infrared astronomy. The ORP will not only continue the successful program of transnational access to the best telescopes and arrays, but it will take a step further towards the harmonization of national and European procedures. The ORP aims also to develop new models for long-term engagements of funders in making trans-national access sustainable beyond the EU funding.

RadioNet congratulates the optical and the radio community on the successful proposal and we look forward to a fruitful collaboration and great results within ORP. Read more.


Exploiting Archives for Radio Astronomy in the SKA era

The virtual workshop took place on November 23-25, 2020 and gathered 70 participants spanning a wide range of nationalities, from USA to Korea, passing Europe and India. The main goals was to give an overview of the capabilities, development, and user support for archival research in the main worldwide radio facilities - in particular, the European VLBI Network (EVN), the Low-Frequency Array LOFAR, the enhanced Multi-Element Remotely Linked Interferometer Network (e-MERLIN), and the Advanced European Network of E-infrastructures for Astronomy with the SKA (AENEAS).

This workshop contributed to the increase of the usage of archive related science produced with RadioNet facilities. More

© Image Israel Matute

Successful CASA-VLBI online workshop

Successful CASA-VLBI workshop

From November 2-6, 2020, JIVE hosted the online CASA-VLBI workshop with over 200 attendees from around the world.

The workshop was entirely educational. The lecture covered a broad range of topics and levels from the basics of CASA, through calibration of VLBI observations, imaging and data processing up to the future of VLBI.

The interest in the CASA-VLBI workshop was overwhelming and this demonstrates that there is a great need for easy access to materials and support for VLBI data processing.

Read more.

RadioNet supported successful ADASS conference

RadioNet supported successful ADASS conference

The Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems  (ADASS)  conference on November 8-12, 2020, was organized by IRAM, and the IAA. The active participation of several other RadioNet partners ensured that radio astronomical infrastructures and software were brought to the attention of the broad software engineer community attending the conference, from both other astronomical institutes and industry. This way, communication in both directions has been realized, with an enormous potential impact for the development of new collaborations and realization of software solutions. Read more.

Announcement: First release of data from the Apertif imaging survey

ALTA Survey released

The Apertif imaging team has released science data from the first year of science operations of WSRT-Apertif as the Apertif Data Release 1 (DR1). Now the entire astronomical community can access the data collected by Apertif in its first year of observing, which started on  July 1, 2019. More details here.

Information about the data release is provided in the documentation pages. The data are available via the ASTRON VO pages.


NSF begins planning for decommissioning of Arecibo Observatory

Decommissioning of Arecibo Observatory

The world-famous Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico will be  decommissioned and demolished after the conclusion that the facility is at risk of a collapse. This will bring an end to the popular 57-year-old telescope.

The decision comes after two major cables failed at the facility within the last few months, causing significant damage to the observatory. The National Science Foundation (NSF) assessed the impact of the cable breaks and found that the facility’s other cables could also fail soon and put also in risk humans. Find more information here.




Next multiannual financial framework and recovery package

The German presidency of the Council reached a political agreement with the European Parliament’s negotiators in talks aimed at securing the Parliament’s consent to the next multiannual financial framework, the EU’s long-term budget. The agreement complements the comprehensive financial package of €1 824.3 billion. The political package agreed with the Parliament includes:

• a targeted reinforcement of EU programmes, including Horizon Europe, EU4Health and Erasmus+, by €15 billion through additional means (€12.5 billion) and reallocations (€2.5 billion) in the course of the next financial period, while respecting the expenditure ceilings set out in the European Council conclusions of July 17-21

• more flexibility to allow the EU to respond to unforeseen needs

• greater involvement of the budgetary authority in the oversight of revenue under Next Generation EU

• higher ambition on biodiversity and strengthened monitoring of biodiversity, climate and gender related spending

• an indicative roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources

The deal will now be submitted to member states for endorsement together with the other elements of the next multiannual financial framework and recovery package. More details here.


Novelties on the Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement

The European Commission on a stakeholder workshop on October 9, 2020 informed about the novelties in Horizon Europe. Among others, the focus was on the Model Grant Agreement, audits and the dissemination of research results. Find here the recorded workshop.


The Commission adopted its 2021 work programme.

It contains new legislative initiatives across all six-headline ambitions of President Ursula von der Leyen’s Political Guidelines. While delivering on the priorities set out in this work programme, the Commission will continue to put all its efforts into managing the crisis, and into making Europe’s economies and societies more resilient.

The 2021 Commission work programme sees a shift from strategy to delivery across all six political priorities: a European Green Deal, a Europe fit for the digital age, an economy that works for people, a stronger Europe in the world, promoting the European way of life, a new push for European democracy.

For more information: 2021 Commission work programme, annexes and factsheets.



RadioNet's Transnational Access programme ensures free of charge access to the best European radio astronomical research infrastructures. This opportunity is open to all European researchers and to some extent to researchers from non-EU countries. More


Virtual Access to ALTA

The Westerbork Apertif Long Term Archive (ALTA) is a brand new facility offering to the world-wide astronomical community free virtual access to data and scientific products produced from all sky surveys of the Northern sky that will be conducted with the new Apertif frontend of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT), as well as tools to query, further exploit and perform data mining of these products adaptable to diverse research goals.





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RadioNet has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730562, and contribution from the partner organisations