Visit of Dr. Schilizzi to Argentina

Between July 31st and August 5th, the Argentine-Brazilian SKA Team received the first mission of Dr. Richard Schilizzi to South America. His first stop-over was in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he participated of the Annual Meeting of the Astronomical Society of Brazil as an invited speaker and exposed the SKA project to the Brazilian astronomical community. For the first time, Dr. Schilizzi had the opportunity to talk first hand with radioastronomers from Argentina and Brazil at the same time and learn about the progress that the Southamerican team is making in preparing the site proposal.

On August 2nd, Dr. Schilizzi flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he followed a tight schedule including different appointments, a scientific talk and pay a visit to the SKA site in the province of San Juan, 1,100 km West of Buenos Aires. While in Buenos Aires, Dr. Schilizzi was first received by the president of CONICET (National Council of Scientific and Technological Research), Dr. Eduardo Charreau, and members of the Board of Directors, and later by Eng. Tulio Del Bono, National Secretary of Science and Technology. In all cases, the national authorities showed an earnest interest in supporting the participation of Argentina in the SKA, either as candidate for the site or in future technological developments.

Dr. Schilizzi received by the National Secretary of Science and Technology.

During his brief visit to San Juan, Dr. Schilizzi was received by the governor of the province, Dr. José Luis Gioja, who offered all his support for the siting of the central stations in this territory. Afterwards, Dr. Schilizzi traveled from the capital city San Juan to the potential site during a 3 hours drive, passing through nearby cities and villages and getting a flavor of the landscape in which the closest baselines of the array would be placed.

At the proposed core site with the beautiful background of the Andes.
Upon arrival to the CASLEO observatory, a Land Rover drove him through the location in which the core and central station would be installed, at a plain next to CASLEO, shielded by the Andes. There, Dr. Schilizzi could also approach the trailer in which the equipment provided by the Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía (Argentine Radio Astronomy Institute) is monitoring the RFI in the region. During this visit, Dr. Schilizzi had the opportunity of enjoying the facilities at CASLEO where he met the astronomers, engineers and supporting staff.

Back in Buenos Aires, Dr. Schilizzi was first interviewed by one of the most important national newspapers and then gave a talk to the astronomical community at the Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio (Institute of Astronomy and Space Physics), after which he met the team from the Militar Geographical Institute (MGI) and from a Geographical Research Institute who are gathering the geographical information required for each SKA station. In addition, Lt. Col. Julio Benedetti, one of the leaders of this team, showed Dr. Schilizzi the tools they are using to generate maps with different levels of information. and displayed an interactive three-dimensional flight over the site and its surroundings.


2005 - SKA Argentine Committee