Green Bank Observatory Colloqium

The Next Generation Very Large Array
Mark McKinnon (NRAO Assistant Director for New Mexico Operations)

The Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) is envisioned to be a large radio interferometric array with ten times the effective collecting area and ten times the spatial resolution of the Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). It will operate over a wavelength range of 0.3cm to 30cm, with performance optimized between the sub-mm wavelengths of ALMA and the few centimeter and longer wavelengths of the future SKA-1 Mid. The ngVLA will open a new window on the Universe through ultra-sensitive imaging of thermal line and continuum emission down to milli-arcsecond resolution.

The capabilities of the ngVLA are the only means by which a broad range of questions in modern astronomy can be addressed, to include the direct imaging of planet formation in the terrestrial zone of protoplanetary disks, studies of the interstellar medium and star formation on scales ranging from giant molecular clouds down to cloud cores throughout the local supercluster of galaxies, making a cosmic census of the molecular gas which fuels star formation back to the first galaxies, and novel techniques for exploring temporal phenomena from milliseconds to years.

I will review the capabilities and some of the priority science goals of the ngVLA. I will describe how the science use cases and requirements for the ngVLA are being further developed by the broader astronomy community through science working groups and community design studies. The science requirements are being used to develop technical requirements, and we critically review a variety of conceptual options for the instrument within the context of the science requirements. The technical variables considered in these conceptual options include array configuration and size, antenna diameter and optical configuration, number and frequency ranges of the receivers, computing architecture, and operations concept and cost. The investigation will culminate in a proposal for the ngVLA to the US Astro2020 Decadal Survey.

Last modified: Tue May 30 10:48:58 EDT 2017