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European Leadership in Space Astrometry

Objective

ELSA brings together world-leading expertise in space astrometry - the use of space platforms for mapping the three-dimensional structure of our Galaxy - with specialists on numerical algorithms and software engineering for the double purpose of (1) preparing for the scientific exploitation of data from the European Space Agency's astrometric mission Gaia, scheduled for launch in 2011, and (2) training the next generation of researchers in this uniquely European specialty to maintain and extend European leadership in space astrometry.

Gaia will perform a stereoscopic census of our Galaxy by measuring accurate distances, motions and astrophysical data for a billion stars. The results will greatly affect nearly all areas of astrophysical research. The scientific management of the mission, including the complex data analysis, requires a mix of specialist skills in space astrometry, software engineering, numerical methods and instrument modelling. This combination is rarely found at a single institute and never in current PhD programmes. It exists however on the European level thanks to the ongoing preparation effort for Gaia and past experience from Hipparcos (launched by ESA, 1989).

The RTN will enhance collaboration between key institutes in the field and transmit the expertise acquired to the next generation of researchers. The research programme has challenging but tangible goals whose outcome will be a key contribution to the Gaia preparations. The data analysis problem is penetrated through novel research, numerical simulations, and GRID computing, leading to new and improved methods for its solution.

The appointment of ESRs and ERs is used to achieve a balanced mix of competence, e.g. between astronomy and software engineering, and to ensure a lively exchange of results through meetings and secondments. The network will attract young research talents to an innovative field and provide excellent training in the context of a high-ranking scientific project.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/mathematics/applied mathematics/numerical analysis
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/data science/data analysis
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/software
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/data science/data processing
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/planetary science/asteroids

Call for proposal

FP6-2005-MOBILITY-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RTN - Marie Curie actions-Research Training Networks

Coordinator

LUNDS UNIVERSITET
Address
Paradisgatan 5C
Lund
Sweden

Participants (13)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE (CNRS)
France
Address
3 Rue Michel Ange
Paris
DUTCH SPACE BV
Netherlands
Address
Newtonweg 1
Leiden
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO
Finland
Address
Ylionpistonkatu 4
Helsinki
ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI ASTROFISICA
Italy
Address
Viale Del Parco Mellini, 84
Roma
NATIONAL AND KAPODISTRIAN UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS+A348
Greece
Address
Christou Lada 6
Athens
OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS
France
Address
61 Avenue De L'observatoire
Paris
RUPRECHT-KARLS-UNIVERSITAET HEIDELBERG.
Germany
Address
Seminarstrasse 2
Heidelberg
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
Address
The Old Schools, Trinity Lane
Cambridge
UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA
Spain
Address
Gran Via De Les Corts Catalanes, 585
Barcelona
UNIVERSITE DE GENEVE
Switzerland
Address
Rue Général Dufour, 24
Geneve 4
UNIVERSITE LIBRE DE BRUXELLES
Belgium
Address
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50
Brussels
UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN.
Netherlands
Address
Rapenburg 70
Leiden
UNIVERZA V LJUBLJANI
Slovenia
Address
Kongresni Trg 12
Ljubljana