RADIOSKY2020 Italy-South Africa Research Programme (ISARP) Virtual Workshop

The University of the Western Cape (UWC)/Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA), Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF-IRA), and the Italian Embassy hosted the RADIOSKY2020 Workshop virtually on 18 June 2020.

The RADIOSKY2020 project is funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). The meeting was organized by Pierguido Sarti from the Italian Embassy in Pretoria, Tiziana Venturi from the Institute of Radio Astronomy (IRA) of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) and by Mattia Vaccari from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA).

The meeting was a chance to touch base on the progress of our collaboration over the last couple of years. The completion of MeerKAT has strengthened the links between the two communities. MeerKAT HI observations have led to the joint publication of some of the first MeerKAT science papers, as well as to the joint development of the CARACAL HI Data reduction Pipeline and the iDavie HI Virtual Reality Data Visualization Tool. The recently opened MeerKAT Open Time Call has also renewed the interest of the Italian community in working with MeerKAT.

Italy and South Africa have got a long history of scientific collaboration dating back to 1994. RADIOSKY2020, the 2018-2020 bilateral project for SKA-oriented scientific and technological cooperation between Italy and South Africa, is now in its third year, and it is thus time to review the progress which has been made since its inception and to start planning for the future.

The joint scientific exploitation of optical imaging surveys such as KiDS and VOICE and the SALT observing programmes complete the picture in terms of scientific collaboration. Perhaps more importantly, 20 students have carried out collaborative research visits and postdoctoral research fellows from both SA and Italy have taken up posts in the other country, paving the way toward a truly bilateral exchange of expertise in the run-up toward the deployment of SKA1.

The workshop page can be found here including the presentations from the workshop