From stars to black holes: mm-VLBI with ALMA and other telescopes, Scientific Workshop | June 27- 28, 2012, ESO



From stars to black holes: mm-VLBI with ALMA and other telescopes

Scientific Workshop | June 27- 28, 2012, ESO, Garching



In this workshop we want to assess the future of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) experiments at millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths and the role new telescopes like the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) will have. The unprecedented sensitivity, broad frequency coverage, and unique location of ALMA will have the potential to transform the science that can be done with mm-VLBI. With expected spatial resolutions as low as some microarcseconds at the highest frequencies and mJy sensitivities at the lower frequencies, quite a range of high-profile experiments should be possible. The science that can be addressed ranges from the precise astrometry and study of stellar masers down to observations of jets and the event horizon of supermassive black holes.

At this workshop we want to make an inventory of the science interests of the European user community of ALMA for VLBI experiments from wavelengths of 7 mm (for which receivers are yet to be built) all the way to sub-mm wavelengths. This should involve not only current VLBI users but also those who are just becoming interested in this rapidly evolving field.

The workshop is timely, as ALMA is quickly improving its capabilities, plans for phasing of the array are becoming more concrete, and digital VLBI equipment is also improving.

The main focus of the meeting will be on developing the European science case. However, in addition we also want to use the opportunity to start first discussions on the organization of the mm-VLBI efforts and review some of the technical capabilities available in Europe.


The workshop will take place at the ESO headquarters in Garching, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching (near Munich), Germany, in the ESO Auditorium. The closest airport is Munich FJS Airport (MUC). Travel directions can be found on the ESO webpage: Participants have to arrange their own hotel reservations. There will be no registration fee for the workshop. Limited travel support may be made available by Radionet upon request through the organizers. This is intended primarily for students and beginning post-doctoral fellows.


The meeting will go from lunchtime, June 27 to lunchtime, June 28, 2012. It is scheduled to start right after the ALMA community days. This will give the general ALMA community the opportunity to stay on and get involved. The program will begin with an afternoon of short invited and contributed science presentations from various groups. On the following morning, the meeting will conclude with additional scientific and technical presentations and discussions on the development of a coherent science case and a technical road-map. The meeting is intended to be fairly small and informal. The discussions at the workshop will form the basis of a written European science case, intended for wider circulation within the ALMA and VLBI communities.


To register please fill out the Doodle poll at to indicate whether you are likely to attend and, if so, on which day(s). Also, please send an email with the subject line mmVLBI registration to including your name and affiliation. Registration is free of charge. For the sake of planning an early registration is appreciated.

Contributions to the workshop are very welcome and can be proposed until June 8, 2012. Please include a title and a brief abstract in text form in your email.


Robert Laing ? European Southern Observatory (Co-chair)
Heino Falcke ? Radboud University, Nijmegen,& ASTRON, The Netherlands (Co-chair)
Anton Zensus ? Radionet, MPIfR Bonn, Germany
Leonardo Testi ? European Southern Observatory
Michael Bremer ? IRAM, France
Huib van Langevelde ? JIVE, The Netherlands
Thomas Krichbaum ? MPIfR Bonn, Germany
Alain Baudry ? Univ. Bordeaux, France,& European ALMA Project Office, ESO
John Conway ? Onsla Space Observatory, Sweden


Wed., June 27
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-15:30 Science Session 1
15:30-16:00 Coffee break
16:00-18:00 Science Session 2
19:00 Workshop Dinner


Thu, June 28
0830 - 0930 Science Session 3
0930 - 1000 Discussion: drafting the European Science Case
1030 - 1100 Coffee Break
1100 - 1200 Presentations/Discussion: Technical Expertise in Europe
1200 - 1230 Organization and Future Activities
12:30 Lunch