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News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: phys.org

With a main mirror 39 metres in diameter, the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), is going to be, as its name suggests, enormous. Unlike any other before it, ELT is also designed to be an adaptive telescope and has the ability to correct atmospheric turbulence, taking telescope engineering to another level. To mark the construction's milestone, a ceremony was held at ESO's Paranal residencia in northern Chile, close to the site of the future giant telescope which will be on top of Cerro Armazones, a 3046-metre peak mountain. Among many other representatives from industry, the significance of the project was highlighted by the attendance of the Director General of ESO, Tim de Zeeuw, and President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet Jeria. The ELT is being built by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), an international collaboration supported by the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Oxford University scientists are playing a key role in the project, and are responsible for the design and construction of its spectrograph; 'HARMONI', an instrument designed to simultaneously take 4000 images, each in a slightly different colour. The visible and near-infrared instrument will harness the telescope's adaptive optics to provide extremely sharp images. 'HARMONI' will enable scientists to form a more detailed picture of the formation and evolution of objects in the Universe. Supporting researchers to view everything from the planets in our own solar system and stars in our own and nearby galaxies with unprecedented depth and precision, to the formation and evolution of distant galaxies that have never been observed before. Niranjan Thatte, Principal Investigator for 'HARMONI' and Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford's Department of Physics, said: 'For me, the ELT represents a big leap forward in capability, and that means that we will use it to find many interesting things about the Universe that we have no knowledge of today. 'It is the element of 'exploring the unknown' that most excites me about the ELT. It will be an engineering feat, and its sheer size and light grasp will dwarf all other telescopes that we have built to date.' A time capsule, created by members of the ESO team and sealed at the event, will serve as a lasting memory of the research and the scale of ambition and commitment behind it. Contents include a copy of a book describing the original scientific aims of the telescope, images of the staff that have and will play a role in its construction and a poster of an ELT visualisation. The cover of the time capsule is engraved with a hexagon made of Zerodur, a one-fifth scale model of one of the ELT's primary mirror segments. Tim DE Zeeuw, Director General of ESO, said: 'The ELT will produce discoveries that we simply cannot imagine today, and it will surely inspire numerous people around the world to think about science, technology and our place in the Universe. This will bring great benefit to the ESO member states, to Chile, and to the rest of the world.' The ELT is set for completion in 2024, and as the visualisation images show, it is going to be 'out of this world.' Explore further: ESO signs largest ever ground-based astronomy contract for E-ELT dome and structure


Rainbow Seed Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on building technology companies from the UK's research base, announced today an investment into University of Birmingham spinout Linear Diagnostics. The investment was match-funded with an award from the University of Birmingham’s Spinout Investment fund and the company received a total investment of £300,000. The investment will enable Linear Diagnostics to develop its platform technology into a handheld device that can rapidly detect the presence of bacterial infection and simultaneously identify the risk of resistance to the most commonly prescribed antibiotics, without the need for laboratory facilities. The device will provide a readout within minutes of sampling. The technology is based on a novel application of a technique called linear dichroism, which uses polarized light to measure the alignment of detector molecules. Linear dichroism has a number of advantages over current techniques: it can identify several different target types (bacteria, proteins, genes) in the same test, and provide a quantitative reading for each, from the same test sample. The first application to be developed will be a device for the detection of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and it is envisaged that the device will be used in both primary and secondary care where it will help restrict inappropriate prescriptions and contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Oliver Sexton, Investment Director for the Rainbow Seed Fund said: “Antimicrobial resistance is a global health concern, and there is a clear need for new strategies to tackle it. Rapid diagnosis can both curtail the ineffective antibiotic prescribing that fuels antimicrobial resistance, and identify the appropriate course of treatment for the individual patient.” Although the technology will initially be developed for the medical sector, it can be used to address markets in the agri-food, veterinary and defence settings. Dr James Wilkie, Director of Enterprise & Innovation at the University of Birmingham, said: “We have been impressed by the flexibility of the technology. In particular, the test is both qualitative and quantitative, which significantly increases the scope of its potential applications.” Dr Matt Hicks, Chief Technology Officer and founder of Linear Diagnostics said: “The investment comes at a crucial inflexion point for the company. We have achieved proof of concept, and now have partnerships in place that will steer rapid development in an area of high unmet need, which also has a high volume of tests.” About Linear Diagnostics Linear Diagnostics was formed in 2011 to commercialise a patented technology developed at the University of Birmingham. The company was established as a joint venture between founders Professor Tim Dafforn and Dr Matt Hicks, Abingdon Health Ltd, and the University of Birmingham. The company is based at the BioHub Birmingham®, a purpose-built incubator facility in the Edgbaston Medical Quarter. For further company information please contact Dr Matt Hicks, Chief Technology Officer at mhicks(at)lineardiagnostics(dot)com About Rainbow Seed Fund The Rainbow Seed Fund is an early-stage venture capital fund dedicated to kick-starting technology companies from great science emerging from the National Research & Innovation Campuses. The Fund is backed by nine UK publicly-funded research organisations including STFC, BBSRC, Dstl and NERC and the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The Fund, whose portfolio comprises more than 30 companies, holds investments in some of the UK’s most innovative early-stage companies, underpinning the Government's Industrial Strategy. The Fund invests, validates and mentors companies. It has successfully leveraged from the private sector more than 20 times its own investment and created more than 550 high-value technology jobs. In 2013, Rainbow received an additional £10m investment to support the commercialisation of synthetic biology technologies, a cutting-edge discipline named by UK Government as one of “Eight Great Technologies” that support UK science strengths and business capabilities and in which Britain could be a world leader. The Rainbow Seed Fund is managed by Midven, an established venture capital firm with a successful track record of investing in small and medium-sized enterprises. For more information, please visit http://www.rainbowseedfund.com.


News Article | June 26, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Around 550 astronomers and space scientists will gather at the University of Hull, from 2-6 July, for the 2017 Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2017). The conference is the largest regular professional astronomy event in the UK and will see leading researchers from around the world presenting the latest work in a variety of fields. NAM 2017 will be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the UK Solar Physics (UKSP) groups. The conference is principally sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and the University of Hull. Sessions at NAM 2017 will cover a diverse range of topics, including the Sun and its unusually quiet state, the Solar system, results of the search for dark energy, cosmology in the early and distant universe, massive stars, and the science of planets around other stars. Alongside the formal meeting a suite of events will run for schools and the general public. Highlights include a lecture by Professor Chris Lintott of the University of Oxford, and Sky at Night, on the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project. During the conference week, there will be a day of activities for primary school children, and a day of activities for secondary students in the form of a student conference. Activities will include the use of a planetarium, telescope workshops and a poster competition that will be judged by some of the astronomers attending the conference. Speakers include Professor Becky Parker, Director of the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS), and the astrobiologist Professor Lewis Dartnell, who will talk on extraterrestrial life. Meeting arrangements and a full and up to date schedule of the scientific programme can be found on the official website https:/ and via the conference Twitter account https:/ Media representatives are cordially invited to attend the Meeting and can register at no cost. Press room facilities will be available for the duration of the conference - from 0900 BST on Monday 3 July to 1500 BST on Thursday 6 July. A series of releases, issued under embargo, will cover key scientific results presented at the meeting. For free registration please contact the press team. From the end of this week (30 June onwards) the embargoed release text and images will be available in advance via a password-protected press area of the conference website. The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS, http://www. ), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organises scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognizes outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 4000 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others. The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC, http://www. ) is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar. STFC's Astronomy and Space Science programme provides support for a wide range of facilities, research groups and individuals in order to investigate some of the highest priority questions in astrophysics, cosmology and solar system science. STFC's astronomy and space science programme is delivered through grant funding for research activities, and also through support of technical activities at STFC's UK Astronomy Technology Centre and RAL Space at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. STFC also supports UK astronomy through the international European Southern Observatory.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STFC) today announced the departure of Senior Vice President, Director of Commercial and Specialty Lines Jessica E. Clark, effective, May 26, 2017. Clark will become chief executive officer of GuideOne Insurance of West Des Moines, Iowa. “At the same time I’m disappointed to lose Jess as a key member of our leadership team, I’m very happy for her and her family,” said STFC Chairman, President and CEO Mike LaRocco. “Jess led the development of a strong team within commercial lines and specialty that will continue to drive us toward profitable growth.” Clark joined STFC through State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company’s acquisition of Rockhill Insurance in 2009. The company has not announced her replacement. State Auto Financial Corporation, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is a super regional property and casualty insurance holding company and is proud to be a Trusted Choice® company partner. STFC stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, which represents the top fourth of all NASDAQ listed companies. The insurance subsidiaries of State Auto Financial Corporation are part of the State Auto Group. The State Auto Group markets its insurance products throughout the United States, through independent insurance agencies, which include retail agencies and wholesale brokers. The State Auto Group is rated A- (Excellent) by the A.M. Best Company and includes State Automobile Mutual, State Auto Property & Casualty, State Auto Ohio, State Auto Wisconsin, Milbank, Meridian Security, Patrons Mutual, Rockhill Insurance, Plaza Insurance, American Compensation and Bloomington Compensation. Additional information on State Auto Financial Corporation and the State Auto Insurance Companies can be found online at http://www.StateAuto.com/STFC.


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists are a step closer to understanding the inner-workings of the universe following the laying of the first stone, and construction starting on the world's largest optical and infrared telescope. With a main mirror 39 metres in diameter, the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), is going to be, as its name suggests, enormous. Unlike any other before it, ELT is also designed to be an adaptive telescope and has the ability to correct atmospheric turbulence, taking telescope engineering to another level. To mark the construction's milestone, a ceremony was held at ESO's Paranal residencia in northern Chile, close to the site of the future giant telescope which will be on top of Cerro Armazones, a 3046-metre peak mountain. Among many other representatives from industry, the significance of the project was highlighted by the attendance of the Director General of ESO, Tim de Zeeuw, and President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet Jeria. The ELT is being built by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), an international collaboration supported by the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Oxford University scientists are playing a key role in the project, and are responsible for the design and construction of its spectrograph; 'HARMONI', an instrument designed to simultaneously take 4000 images, each in a slightly different colour. The visible and near-infrared instrument will harness the telescope's adaptive optics to provide extremely sharp images. 'HARMONI' will enable scientists to form a more detailed picture of the formation and evolution of objects in the Universe. Supporting researchers to view everything from the planets in our own solar system and stars in our own and nearby galaxies with unprecedented depth and precision, to the formation and evolution of distant galaxies that have never been observed before. Niranjan Thatte, Principal Investigator for 'HARMONI' and Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford's Department of Physics, said: 'For me, the ELT represents a big leap forward in capability, and that means that we will use it to find many interesting things about the Universe that we have no knowledge of today. 'It is the element of 'exploring the unknown' that most excites me about the ELT. It will be an engineering feat, and its sheer size and light grasp will dwarf all other telescopes that we have built to date.' A time capsule, created by members of the ESO team and sealed at the event, will serve as a lasting memory of the research and the scale of ambition and commitment behind it. Contents include a copy of a book describing the original scientific aims of the telescope, images of the staff that have and will play a role in its construction and a poster of an ELT visualisation. The cover of the time capsule is engraved with a hexagon made of Zerodur©, a one-fifth scale model of one of the ELT's primary mirror segments. Tim DE Zeeuw, Director General of ESO, said: 'The ELT will produce discoveries that we simply cannot imagine today, and it will surely inspire numerous people around the world to think about science, technology and our place in the Universe. This will bring great benefit to the ESO member states, to Chile, and to the rest of the world.' The ELT is set for completion in 2024, and as the visualisation images show, it is going to be 'out of this world.' Images are available to download for free from the ESO website: https:/ For interviews or supporting images please contact: Lanisha Butterfield, Media Relations Manager on 01865 280531 or lanisha.butterfield@admin.ox.ac.uk The Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division (MPLS) is one of four academic divisions at the University of Oxford, representing the non-medical sciences. Oxford is one of the world's leading universities for science, and MPLS is at the forefront of scientific research across a wide range of disciplines. Research in the mathematical, physical and life sciences at Oxford was rated the best in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment. MPLS received £133m in research income in 2014/15 ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope and its world-leading Very Large Telescope Interferometer as well as two survey telescopes, VISTA working in the infrared and the visible-light VLT Survey Telescope. ESO is also a major partner in two facilities on Chajnantor, APEX and ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope, the ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: www.prlog.org

• 6th Facility in Tamil Nadu Zone and 27th Automall in South India • 150+ used vehicles available for Display • 250+ Registrations -- Shriram Automall India Limited (SAMIL), India's most trusted service provider for exchange of used vehicles & equipment, inaugurated its first facility in Hosur,6in Tamil Nadu Zone & 27in South India.SAMIL, an ISO 9001:2008 certified company with AA+ rating from CRISIL, strategically located its 68Automall facility in the industrial area which is near Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka State border and expands through Big Vegetable Market Hub. The 68Automall spreads over a sprawling area of 4 acres of land and will satisfy the demand in the area for vehicles primarily the LCV, HGV & SGV.Hosur Automall is an extension of the company's automall facility which will provide complete access to customers in Chennai, Salem, Bangalore, Vellore and Krishnagiri thus fulfilling their pre-owned vehicle requirements in an organized manner."As a part of our expansion plan to inaugurate 75 well structured Automalls by 2017, we launch the Hosur Automall today which is the 68facility of the company. With favorable demand of used vehicles and equipment across the country, I am absolutely certain & confident that 2017 will be a year of great pride for us. We will work together, determined to keep the faith in the company intact with unwavering focus on goals we have together set," said Mr. Sameer Malhotra, CEO Shriram Automall.During the inauguration ceremony, a live bidding event was also held at the Hosur Automall where over 150+ used vehicles & construction equipment were displayed on the ramp for the customers to bid on. In addition to the event, health checkup camp was organized where professional doctors conducted the eye test free of cost for our customers. Also, to enhance the career, scholarship cheques were distributed to 20 deserving students so that they can shape their life in a better and successful way.Additionally SAMIL also launched its quarterly newsletter 'Connect' at the event which gives first hand information to the customers about the company's latest Development, Inaugurations, Awards Won and Policies etc.CHENNAI  TRINULVELLI  TRICHY  MADURAI  COIMBATOREShriram Automall Hosur, Attibele-Rayakottai Road, SBM Colony, Anthivadi, Hosur, Tamil Nadu- 635109Veerendra Kumar - 8754436200SAMIL is one-of-its kind facility, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC). It is India's first-ever service provider that offers various well organized and transparent bidding platforms, including physical, online, one stop classified and negotiated deals, for acquisition & disposal of pre-owned commercial vehicles, construction & industrial equipment, tractors & agricultural equipment, passenger vehicles, three wheelers and two wheelers. Company has its presence all over the country with its already established 67 Automalls and 150+ bidding locations. The company has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification for its Quality Management System and rated AA+ from CRISIL.Ms. Jyoti Jain (NH-Marketing of SAMIL)SHRIRAM AUTOMALL INDIA LIMITEDFloor, Best Sky Tower,Netaji Subhash Place, Pitampura, Delhi-110034Tel: 011-41414444, Fax: 011-42414444E-Mail: contact@samil.inWebsite: www.samil.in


SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Panasas Inc., the leader in performance scale-out network-attached storage (NAS), today announced that the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (SFTC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in the UK has expanded its JASMIN super-data-cluster with an additional 1.6 petabytes (PB) of Panasas ActiveStor® storage, bringing total storage capacity to 20PB. This expansion required the formation of the largest realm of Panasas storage worldwide, which is managed by a single systems administrator. Thousands of users worldwide find, manipulate and analyze data held on JASMIN, which processes an average of 1-3PB of data every day. STFC and the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) pioneered climate data analysis at petabyte scale with the JASMIN infrastructure. JASMIN is a highly flexible system combining petabytes of high-performance storage with batch and cloud computing over terabit-bandwidth networking to support data analysis at scale for all UK environmental science communities and their worldwide collaborators. JASMIN underlies many environmental scientific efforts, including the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) global model intercomparison project (CMIP5,6) which feeds into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, and programs such as the Global Surface Displacement Monitoring program, which collects data from space on a global scale to monitor and model earthquakes, volcanoes, tectonics and the retreat of ice. “We are proud of our long-term partnership with RAL and STFC, and of our ability to facilitate research that protects the lives and livelihood of all who inhabit the planet,” said Faye Pairman, chief executive officer at Panasas. “We remain committed to meeting STFC’s needs for affordable storage solutions that deliver performance, reliability and manageability at any scale, without compromise.” ActiveStor accelerates workflows and drives time-to-results with an easily-managed storage system that seamlessly scales to immediately contribute more storage capacity and processing power to any number of computing clients across the entire system. ActiveStor is delivered as a fully integrated clustered NAS appliance solution that incorporates flash and SATA storage nodes and combines parallel data flow and direct data access technology to boost performance, increase data availability, and eliminate hotspots in a single namespace environment. Panasas is the performance scale-out NAS leader for unstructured data, driving industry and research innovation by accelerating workflows and simplifying data management. Panasas ActiveStor appliances leverage the patented PanFS storage operating system and DirectFlow protocol to deliver performance and reliability at scale from an appliance that is as easy to manage as it is fast to deploy. Panasas storage is optimized for the most demanding workloads in life sciences, manufacturing, media and entertainment, energy, government as well as education environments, and has been deployed in more than 50 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.panasas.com. The Science and Technology Facilities Council is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science and microelectronics, tackling some of the most significant challenges facing society such as meeting our future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security. The Council has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its wafer-scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar. STFC operates or hosts world-class experimental facilities in the UK: in addition to hosting JASMIN for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), it hosts the ISIS pulsed neutron source, the Central Laser Facility, and LOFAR, and is also the majority shareholder in Diamond Light Source Ltd. STFC enables UK researchers to access leading international science facilities by funding membership of international bodies including the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). STFC is one of seven publicly-funded research councils. It is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). http://www.stfc.ac.uk/ ©2017 Panasas, Inc. Panasas, the Panasas logo and ActiveStor are registered trademarks or trademarks of Panasas, Inc. Other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 605.74K | Year: 2015

The project Compressive Imaging in Radio Interferometry (CIRI) aims to bring new advances for interferometric imaging with next-generation radio telescopes, together with theoretical and algorithmic evolutions in generic compressive imaging. Radio Interferometry (RI) allows observations of the sky at otherwise inaccessible angular resolutions and sensitivities, providing unique information for astrophysics and cosmology. New telescopes are being designed, such as the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), whose science goals range from astrobiology and strong field gravity, to the probe of early epochs in the Universe when the first stars formed. These instruments will target orders of magnitudes of improvement in resolution and sensitivity. In this context, they will have to cope with extremely large data sets. Associated imaging techniques thus literally need to be re-invented over the next few years. The emerging theory of compressive sampling (CS) represents a significant evolution in sampling theory. It demonstrates that signals with sparse representations may be recovered from sub-Nyquist sampling through adequate iterative algorithms. CIRI will build on the theoretical and algorithmic versatility of CS and leverage new advanced sparsity and sampling concepts to define, from acquisition to reconstruction, next-generation CS techniques for ultra-high resolution wide-band RI imaging and calibration techniques. The new techniques, and the associated fast algorithms capable of handling extremely large data sets on multi-core computing architectures, will be validated on simulated and real data. Astronomical imaging is not only a target, but also an essential means to trigger novel generic developments in signal processing. CIRI indeed aims to provide significant advances for compressive imaging thereby reinforcing the CS revolution, which finds applications all over science and technology, in particular in biomedical imaging. CIRI is thus expected to impact science, economy, and society by developing new imaging technologies essential to support forthcoming challenges in astronomy, and by delivering a new class of compressive imaging algorithms that can in turn be transferred to many applications, starting with biomedical imaging.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 27.11K | Year: 2015

The project Compressive Imaging in Radio Interferometry (CIRI) aims to bring new advances for interferometric imaging with next-generation radio telescopes, together with theoretical and algorithmic evolutions in generic compressive imaging. Radio Interferometry (RI) allows observations of the sky at otherwise inaccessible angular resolutions and sensitivities, providing unique information for astrophysics and cosmology. New telescopes are being designed, such as the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), whose science goals range from astrobiology and strong field gravity, to the probe of early epochs in the Universe when the first stars formed. These instruments will target orders of magnitudes of improvement in resolution and sensitivity. In this context, they will have to cope with extremely large data sets. Associated imaging techniques thus literally need to be re-invented over the next few years. The emerging theory of compressive sampling (CS) represents a significant evolution in sampling theory. It demonstrates that signals with sparse representations may be recovered from sub-Nyquist sampling through adequate iterative algorithms. CIRI will build on the theoretical and algorithmic versatility of CS and leverage new advanced sparsity and sampling concepts to define, from acquisition to reconstruction, next-generation CS techniques for ultra-high resolution wide-band RI imaging and calibration techniques. The new techniques, and the associated fast algorithms capable of handling extremely large data sets on multi-core computing architectures, will be validated on simulated and real data. Astronomical imaging is not only a target, but also an essential means to trigger novel generic developments in signal processing. CIRI indeed aims to provide significant advances for compressive imaging thereby reinforcing the CS revolution, which finds applications all over science and technology, in particular in biomedical imaging. CIRI is thus expected to impact science, economy, and society by developing new imaging technologies essential to support forthcoming challenges in astronomy, and by delivering a new class of compressive imaging algorithms that can in turn be transferred to many applications, starting with biomedical imaging.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 585.81K | Year: 2016

We propose an ambitious multi-institution experimental programme to investigate one of the greatest mysteries in astrophysics: the acceleration mechanism that leads to generation of high energy cosmic rays. The presence of energetic particles in the Universe is a well established fact, with measurements of the cosmic ray (CR) spectrum extending up to astonishing 1e20 eV. In spite of this, the exact mechanism that leads to such high energy particles still remains controversial. The central theme of this proposal is to conduct a programme of linked earth-based experimental and theoretical investigations into CR acceleration mechanisms to address this long running problem. Although many different processes may result in CR acceleration, the present day understanding is that shock waves and turbulence play an essential role in energizing both the electrons and ions present in the interstellar medium. We will perform linked experimental and numerical studies of the acceleration of electrons in strong shocks formed in magnetised plasmas. The shocks will be formed by supersonic plasma flows created by high intensity lasers and Mega-Ampere-level pulsed currents. The first set of experiments will investigate the initial acceleration of electrons, which should allow the formation of electron population with energies significantly exceeding their initial thermal energy. This is expected to occur due to plasma wave turbulence which is excited in the pre-shock plasma by the ions reflected from the shock front, but this mechanism has never been tested by experiment. We will characterise the development of the turbulence and measure the parameters of the accelerated electrons using state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques previously developed by us. In the second set of experiments, we will investigate the so-called diffusive shock acceleration mechanism, which is considered as the most plausible mechanism of cosmic ray acceleration. This will be achieved by injecting sufficiently energetic electrons into the shock, in such a way that these electrons will then sample both the pre- and post-shock regions, performing multiple passages through the shock front as required for this mechanism to operate efficiently. Use of a magnetic spectrometer will allow direct measurements of the energy of the accelerated electrons which will be compared with theoretical predictions. As part of this project we will also perform numerical simulations using state of the art hybrid-MHD and PIC codes and cross-compare the results with our experimental data. The computational and theoretical components of the project will allow us to forge a strong connection between experiment, astrophysical models and observations. The proposed research lies at the border between Plasma Physics and Astrophysics, and will advance the development of the novel research area of Laboratory Astrophysics, which seeks to enhance the understanding of the physics governing the behaviour of astrophysical objects directly via scaled laboratory experiments, combined with computer modelling. Creating the extreme plasma conditions required for scaled reconstruction of astrophysical environments in the laboratory, became possible only recently thanks to the advent of high energy lasers and fast rise-time high-current pulsed power facilities. The similarity between the lab and nature in terms of key dimensionless parameters (e.g. Mach number) is sufficiently close to make such experiments highly relevant. The timeliness of this proposal is also underlined by the growing interest in this field internationally with major efforts in USA (Rochester, Livermore - NIF) and Europe (Bordeaux - LaserMegajoule). The combined expertise of the authors of this proposal and the involvement of international collaborators from Astrophysics community will allow us to create and exploit an unprecedented capability for the Laboratory Astrophysics research and provide both breadth and depth to the programme.

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