Ventspils University College

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Riga, Latvia
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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 10.51M | Year: 2017

RadioNet is a consortium of 28 institutions in Europe, Republic of Korea and South Africa, integrating at European level world-class infrastructures for research in radio astronomy. These include radio telescopes, telescope arrays, data archives and the globally operating European Network for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (EVN). RadioNet is de facto widely regarded to represent the interests of radio astronomy in Europe. A comprehensive, innovative and ambitious suite of actions is proposed that fosters a sustainable research environment. Building on national investments and commitments to operate these facilities, this specific EC program leverages the capabilities on a European scale. The proposed actions include: - Merit-based trans-national access to the RadioNet facilities for European and for the first time also for third country users; and integrated and professional user support that fosters continued widening of the community of users. - Innovative R&D, substantially enhancing the RadioNet facilities and taking leaps forward towards harmonization, efficiency and quality of exploitation at lower overall cost; development and delivery of prototypes of specialized hardware, ready for production in SME industries. - Comprehensive networking measures for training, scientific exchange, industry cooperation, dissemination of scientific and technical results; and policy development to ensure long-term sustainability of excellence for European radio astronomy. RadioNet is relevant now, it enables cutting-edge science, top-level R&D and excellent training for its European facilities; with the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) and the ESFRI-listed Square Kilometre Array (SKA) defined as global radio telescopes, RadioNet assures that European radio astronomy maintains its leading role into the era of these next-generation facilities by involving scientists and engineers in the scientific use and innovation of the outstanding European facilities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.1.21. | Award Amount: 11.58M | Year: 2012

RadioNet is an I3 that coordinates all of Europes leading radio astronomy facilities in an integrated cooperation to achieve transformational improvement in the quality and quantity of the scientific research of European astronomers. RadioNet3 includes 27 partners operating world-class radio telescopes and/or performing cutting-edge R&D in a wide range of technology fields important for radio astronomy. RadioNet3 proposes a work plan that is structured into 6 NAs, 7 TNAs and 4 JRAs with the aim to integrate and optimise the use and development of European radio astronomy infrastructures. The general goals of RadioNet3 are to: - facilitate, for a growing community of European researchers, access to the complete range of Europes world-leading radio-astronomical facilities, including the ALMA telescope; - secure a long-term perspective on scientific and technical developments in radio astronomy, pooling resources and expertise that exist among the partners; - stimulate new R&D activities for the existing radio infrastructures in synergy with ALMA and the SKA; - contribute to the implementation of the vision of the ASTRONET Strategic Plan for European Astronomy by building a sustainable and world leading radio astronomical research community. RadioNet3 builds on the success of two preceeding I3s under FP6 and FP7, but it also takes a leap forward as it includes facilitation of research with ALMA via a dedicated NA, and 4 pathfinders for the SKA in its TNA Program. It has a transparent and efficient management structure designed to optimally support the implementation of the project. RadioNet is now recognized by funding agencies and international project consortia as the European entity representing radio astronomy and facilitating the access to and exploitation of excellent facilities in this field. This is of paramount importance, as a dedicated, formal European radio astronomy organisation to coordinate and serve the needs of this community does not yet exist.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 14.19M | Year: 2009

RadioNet is an integrating activity that has pulled together ALL of Europes leading radio astronomy facilities to produce a focused, coherent and integrated proposals that will significantly enhance the quality and quantity of science performed by European astronomers. RadioNet FP7 has 25 partners. They range from operators of major radio telescope facilities to laboratories that specialise in micro-electronics. This proposal has brought these institutes together in a unique partnership that builds and extends on RadioNet FP6. The programme of work includes: 7 Networking activities, 4 joint research activities and 9 transnational access projects. The three main objectives are to: (i) provide European astronomers access to world-class radio astronomy facilities; (ii) embark on a research and development plan that will further enhance and improve these facilities, and (iii) nurture and support a rapidly growing community of radio astronomers and engineers, so that can fully exploit the upgraded and next generation radio facilities that will become available over the next few years.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.2.3 | Award Amount: 5.79M | Year: 2010

The objective of Novel EXplorations Pushing Robust e-VLBI Services (NEXPReS) is to offer enhanced scientific performance for all use of the European VLBI Network (EVN) and its partners. The proposed activities will allow the introduction of an e-VLBI component to every experiment, aiming for enhanced robustness, flexibility and sensitivity. This will boost the scientific capability of this distributed facility and offer better data quality and deeper images of the radio sky to a larger number of astronomers. In the past years, e-VLBI has been successfully introduced for real-time, high-resolution radio astronomy. Due to limitations in connectivity, bandwidth and processing capacity, this enhanced mode cannot be offered to all astronomers yet, in spite of its obvious advantages. By providing transparent buffering mechanisms at telescope and correlator it will be possible to address all the current and future bottlenecks in e-VLBI, overcoming limited connectivity to essential stations or network failures, all but eliminating the need for physical transport of magnetic media. Such a scheme will be far more efficient, and ultimately greener, than the current model, in which complex logistics and a large over-capacity of disks are needed to accommodate global observations. It will require high-speed recording hardware, as well as software systems that hide all complexity. Real-time grid computing and high bandwidth on demand will be addressed as well, to improve both the continuous usage of the network and prepare the EVN for the higher bandwidths which will ensure it will remain the most sensitive VLBI array in the world. The proposed programme will strengthen the collaboration between the European radio-astronomical and ICT communities. This will be essential to maintain Europes leading role in the global SKA project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: H2020-TWINN-2015 | Award Amount: 999.65K | Year: 2016

Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center (VIRAC) is the only institute in Latvia engaged in radio astronomy (RA), and indeed the only RA research centre in the Baltic States. ASTRON and UMAN are world-class centres of expertise in RA science since 1950s. They recognize VIRAC as a strategically important partner for their future endeavours, in particular in the further instrumental development and maximal science utilization of their state-of-the-art physically distributed radio telescope facilities: LOFAR, and e-MERLIN. Addressing the specific challenge of the call BALTICS has the primary objective to directly and significantly increase the expertise level of VIRAC staff that will become able to carry out internationally-competing scientific research: As a result, the number of peer reviewed VIRAC publications on LOFAR-related subjects will increase from 1 to 5 per year. The number of VIRAC staff members (co-)authoring scientific research papers for top-level journals will increase from 4 to 10. BALTICS is specifically designed to cement the networking collaborations between ASTRON, UMAN, and VIRAC. BALTICS is also the perfect stepping stone on the way to future financing, realization, and exploitation of LOFAR station in Latvia joining ITL network. As the essential all-round and in-depth training of VIRAC staff proceeds, the institute will naturally become a long-term collaborator in the interdisciplinary research networks surrounding the ILT. This is a win-win approach, which addresses strategic interests of ASTRON and UMAN, in their quest for further extension and ultimate exploitation of the top-level facilities in which they currently are leaders. BALTICS will achieve the defined objectives by carefully chosen depth and breadth of training where a cross-section of 20 VIRAC staff members will be intensively trained during lectures, practical exercises, staff exchange visits, workshops, summer school, advisory consultations.


Kalvans J.,Ventspils University College
Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series | Year: 2016

Heating of whole interstellar dust grains by cosmic-ray (CR) particles affects the gas-grain chemistry in molecular clouds by promoting molecule desorption, diffusion, and chemical reactions on grain surfaces. The frequency of such heating, f T, s-1, determines how often a certain temperature T CR, K, is reached for grains hit by CR particles. This study aims to provide astrochemists with a comprehensive and updated data set on CR-induced whole-grain heating. We present calculations of f T and T CR spectra for bare olivine grains with radius a of 0.05, 0.1, and 0.2 μm and such grains covered with ice mantles of thickness 0.1a and 0.3a. Grain shape and structure effects are considered, as well as 30 CR elemental constituents with an updated energy spectrum corresponding to a translucent cloud with A V = 2 mag. Energy deposition by CRs in grain material was calculated with the srim program. We report full T CR spectra for all nine grain types and consider initial grain temperatures of 10 K and 20 K. We also provide frequencies for a range of minimum T CR values. The calculated data set can be simply and flexibly implemented in astrochemical models. The results show that, in the case of translucent clouds, the currently adopted rate for heating of whole grains to temperatures in excess of 70 K is underestimated by approximately two orders of magnitude in astrochemical numerical simulations. Additionally, grains are heated by CRs to modest temperatures (20-30 K) with intervals of a few years, which reduces the possibility of ice chemical explosions. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Kalvans J.,Ventspils University College
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

Major components of ices on interstellar grains in molecular clouds - water and carbon oxides - occur at various optical depths. This implies that selective desorption mechanisms are at work. An astrochemical model of a contracting low-mass molecular cloud core is presented. Ice was treated as consisting of the surface and three subsurface layers (i.e., sublayers). Photodesorption, reactive desorption, and indirect reactive desorption were investigated. The latter manifests itself through desorption from H+H reaction on grains. Desorption of shallow subsurface species was also included. Modeling results suggest the existence of a "photon-dominated ice" during the early phases of core contraction. Subsurface ice is chemically processed by interstellar photons, which produces complex organic molecules (COMs). Desorption from the subsurface layer results in high COM gas-phase abundances at AV = 2.4-10 mag. This may contribute toward an explanation for COM observations in dark cores. It was found that photodesorption mostly governs the onset of ice accumulation onto grains. Reaction-specific reactive desorption is efficient for small molecules that form via highly exothermic atom-addition reactions. Higher reactive desorption efficiency results in lower gas-phase abundances of COMs. Indirect reactive desorption allows for closely reproducing the observed H2O:CO:CO2 ratio toward a number of background stars. Presumably, this can be done by any mechanism whose efficiency fits with the sequence CO ≥ CO2>H2O. After the freeze-out has ended, the three sublayers represent chemically distinct parts of the mantle. The likely AV threshold for the appearance of CO ice is 8-10.5 mag. The lower value is supported by observations. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-NIGHT | Award Amount: 63.24K | Year: 2011

The main objective of the Project is to raise the awareness of the larger public, especially young people, about science as well as to familiarize them with the scientists profession; to show the impact of sciences such as chemistry, materialsciences and others on everyday human life; to show researchers as ordinary people; to bring researchers closer to the Latvian society and to attract young people to research careers. Aim of the activities is to enhance public recognition of researchers and their role in Latvian society. A number of relaxing, attractive, amazing and interactive events will be organised in six towns - Riga, Daugavpils, Rezekne, Jelgava, Valmiera and Ventspils. The project will be realised by joint efforts of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, 4 Universities, several research institutes and with participation of museums and library. The CHEMI will be preceded by a promotion campaign in mass media. The scope of activities will include development of a European stands, organisation of a Caf Scientifique; scenic play performed by researchers; arranging a series of events with scientific interactive experiments, meetings discussions and quizzes in research institutes and universities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-NIGHT | Award Amount: 71.16K | Year: 2012

The objective of the Project is to raise the awareness of the larger public, especially young people, about science as well as to familiarize them with the scientists profession; to show the impact of sciences such as chemistry, energetic and material sciences on everyday human life; to bring researchers closer to the Latvian society and to raise the interest of young people about research Aim of the activities is to enhance public recognition of researchers and their role in Latvian society. The theme of the Researchers Night in Latvia is The Energy Story. A number of relaxing, attractive, amazing and interactive events will be organized in eight towns - Riga, Salaspils, Daugavpils, Rezekne, Jelgava, Cesis, Valmiera and Ventspils. The project will be realized by joint efforts of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, several Universities, and research institutes and with participation of museums and libraries. The Researchers Night will be preceded by a promotion campaign in mass media. The scope of activities will include establishing a European stand, organizing a Caf Scientifique; scenic play performed by researchers; public meeting with Marie Curie scholarship holders; arranging a series of events with scientific interactive experiments and quizzes in research institutes and universities. An opinion survey will be performed to size up the viewpoints of public on the event and researchers profession. The opinion poll results and analysis of Internet comments on the event will allow evaluating the impact Researchers Night and collecting ideas for future activities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-NIGHT | Award Amount: 72.29K | Year: 2013

The objective of the Project is to raise the awareness of the larger public, especially young people, about science as well as to familiarize them with the scientists profession; to show the impact of sciences such as natural sciences, social sciences and humanities on everyday human life; to bring researchers closer to the Latvian society and to raise the interest of young people about research. Aim of the activities is to enhance public recognition of researchers and their role in Latvian society. The theme of the Researchers Night in Latvia is Unseen Science. A number of relaxing, attractive, amazing and interactive events will be organized in six towns - Riga, Daugavpils, Rezekne, Jelgava, Valmiera and Ventspils. The project will be realized by joint efforts of the several Universities, Latvian Academy of Sciences and research institutes and with participation of museums, Botanical garden and libraries. The Researchers Night will be preceded by a promotion campaign in mass media. The scope of activities will include establishing a European stands, organizing a Caf Scientifique; scenic play performed by researchers; public meeting with scietntists; arranging a series of events with scientific interactive experiments and quizzes in research institutes and universities. An opinion survey will be performed to size up the viewpoints of public on the event and researchers profession. The opinion poll results and analysis of Internet comments on the event will allow evaluating the impact Researchers Night and collecting ideas for future activities.

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