The expansion project of the Very Large Array (VLA) near Socorro is a dramatic upgrade of one of the most successful scientific instruments. The new Expanded VLA will be a completely new instruments and orders of magnitude more powerful than the old VLA. Currently, the commissioning of the EVLA is under progress, and the new capabilities are already available only to researchers who spend time in Socorro to assist with the commissioning. This puts European researchers at risk to lose their competitiveness compared to colleagues in the US, who can be personally present in Socorro. Sending researchers to Socorro would avoid this problem, since they can use the full capabilities of the EVLA early on.
The central aims of this proposal are to a) become a leading expert in Europe on the EVLA by hands-on experience in the commissioning phase, b) initiate ground-breaking new science currently not possible from anywhere in Europe by using the full capabilities of the new EVLA, and c) bring this new knowledge back to my host institute in Europe, the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie (MPIfR) in Bonn.
I will pursue three different scientific projects, which have a large potential for a significant impact. The first project will investigate the diversity of Supernova Ibc and will help to understand the supernova - gamma-ray burst connection. In the second project, I will measure a very accurate distance to the closest ultracompact binary HM Cnc, which is expected to be the strongest source of gravitational waves for the LISA satellites, and can be only obtained by a VLBI parallax measurement. This is important to calibrate the physical properties of this system. Finally, a proper motion of the Andromeda galaxy will be measured. This is essential for our understanding of the evolution of the Local Group, which is an important laboratory to test theories of gravity. Therefore, all three project will have major implications even for fundamental physics.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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