- Develop an operational production-grade e-VLBI network that is capable of
transferring data at aggregate rates of up to 16 Gbps, from remote telescopes to the
central data processor at JIVE via the infrastructure operated by national and
international research and education networks.
- Expand the number of e-VLBI capable telescopes in Europe by supporting the
provisioning of last-mile connections and upgrading existing fibre connections to
Gigabit Ethernet standard. In total, at least 12 European telescopes will be available
for astronomers for use in e-VLBI observations.
- Transparently include telescopes in the UK e-MERLIN array within the e-VLBI
facility. This will give astronomers more flexibility to select the telescope array with
the right characteristics for their observations.
- Support the connection of radio telescopes located outside of Europe, establishing
network connections to telescopes in the United States, Asia, South Africa, Australia
and South America.
- Upgrade the EVN data processor at JIVE to reliably service and process incoming e-
VLBI data streams from up to 16 telescopes at 1 Gbps each.
- Ensure that this real-time e-VLBI network is able to conduct "Target of Opportunity"
and "Rapid Response" science, reacting reliably and flexibly to unexpected
astronomical events such as supernova explosions, giant magnetar and X-ray binary
flares, gamma-ray bursts and other transient phenomena.
- Research the possibilities of advanced networking and new computing technology to
support even higher bandwidths in the future. Increased bandwidth will allow fainter
targets to be observed in the future using both new and existing radio telescopes.
- Research whether the computationally intensive process of correlation can be
implemented on distributed computing infrastructure following the model of Grid
- Investigate how the new radio astronomy facilities now under development (such as
e-MERLIN in the UK and LOFAR in the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden) can
further expand using e-VLBI as a model for their own use of communication
- Promote and demonstrate the way in which communication research networks can be
used to create enhanced, large-scale distributed scientific facilities, and organize
interaction between radio astronomers, engineers, network operators and Grid