By Erik Rosolowsky (U Alberta), Joan Wrobel (NRAO)
(Cassiopeia – Summer 2021)
The design development for the ngVLA has continued over the past three months. The US National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) has selected a contractor to develop a production-ready design and produce a prototype antenna for the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA). An agreement with mtex antenna technology GmbH of Germany was signed on May 27. Under the contract, mtex will prepare a production-ready antenna design based on NRAO specifications and an earlier reference design presented in 2019 to the U.S. Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020 (Astro2020). The design will be for the 244 ngVLA dish antennas that will be 18 meters in diameter.
The ngVLA Project received a favourable review in the Canadian Long Range Plan and is currently under review by Astro2020, a committee of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The committee’s report is expected later this month. The ngVLA Project’s activities are presently focused on being ready to react to a positive Astro2020 Decadal outcome and to prepare documents for an ngVLA Conceptual Design Review in the autumn.
If you would like to review an overview presentation on the current state of the ngVLA Project, please feel free to review this presentation by project scientist Eric Murphy.
The first public tour of the ngVLA occurred in March. The tour featured presentations, interviews of ngVLA staff, and a question-and-answer session. Anyone who missed the virtual event is welcome to view it here.