Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC

Dwingeloo, the Netherlands

JIVE is a European institute that provides support, conducts leading research and forwards technical development in the field of radio astronomy. It is the central organisation in the European VLBI Network (EVN), which is a network of radio telescopes across the globe that can be coordinated to observe cosmic radio sources. Proposals to observe with the EVN are open to any scientist and are evaluated on scientific merit. Data collected during these observations is collated centrally at a super computer, known as the correlator, located at JIVE.

The scientific challenge

Single radio telescopes are often not powerful enough alone to observe cosmic radio sources in extensive detail. In such instances, it is necessary to coordinate multiple telescopes across the globe to increase the resolving potential by effectively turning the network into a single instrument. This technique is known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).

Coordinating a global network presents technical challenges that are addressed at JIVE. Overcoming such challenges is key to obtaining results that have the potential to radically change the way we perceive the universe and to improve our understanding of its fundamental laws.

The Impact

The ESCAPE project provides an opportunity for JIVE to further develop and modify existing tools that allow researchers to work with large data sets. This is vital as the amount of data collected about the universe continues to increase, particularly as new radio telescopes are built across the globe. The project ensures sustainable and efficient handling of data for users across the astronomy community and beyond.