Periodic Reporting for period 3 - AHEAD (Integrated Activities for the High Energy Astrophysics Domain)
Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2019-02-28
AHEAD has shown that the technology employed to collect the faintest X-ray signals emitted by sources at the edge of the Universe, can also be profitably applied in applications for biology, medicine, fine art, environment. Finally, a strong public outreach package has ensuredthat the domain is well publicized at national, European and International level.
AHEAD encompassed a broad range of activities and their links are visualized in Fig.1. A fundamental heritage by AHEAD is the high level of collaborating attitude developed by the institutes and the high level of sustainability, whereby most of the AHEAD results will continue to be exploited by our community throughout other collaborative projects.
Networking activities (NA) concluded successfully. We have delivered a strong visiting programme, overbooked by the community. The numerous workshops and schools were based on issues of interest on a community that extend beyond the field, including the multimessenger Universe. They have provided young astronomers with the theoretical and practical skills to exploit current and future generation of facilities for large X-ray surveys and high resolution spectroscopy, in particular those close to launch: E-Rosita (2019) and XRISM (2022). The AHEAD public outreach programme has delivered excellent products with an exceedingly broad audience: video for planetaria, virtual reality videos (that can be watched by smartphone), social channels, press releases and educational material. The dome video on HE astrophysics received an international prize (Fig.3) and is being played in hundreds of planetaria worldwide. It has currently been viewed by ~25 millions people.
The two transnational access (TA) workpackages have offered access to 23 installations, of which 10 for data analysis and 13 for test and calibration, in 6 Announcements of Opportunity (AO). The data analysis program has been exploited by the community in line with planning. Access to experimental facilities ramped up and reached a broader community, thanks to the implementation of more flexible procedures and wider dissemination: 50% of the approved proposal were received by SMEs and 50% of the projects encompassed fields such as astro-particle, Earth observations and space debris. In summary the organisation of a joint AO call for all transnational and visiting programmes supported 143 persons for a total of 1108 days.
Dissemination of the AHEAD project results was very effective, this including spreading info via web pages, presentations to conferences, and about 110 articles published in journals, including a special issue of the journal “Experimental Astronomy"" (Fig.2).
Finally, AHEAD has explored a range of applications of the same innovative technology used in astrophysics, showing the power of high spectral resolution X-ray for non-invasive analysis on biology, fine art, environmental measurements. For this concept a detailed system engineering study has been performed with two design options, providing a concrete initial step for a future application for the benefit of our society.