Our Research

e-MERLIN and Jodrell Bank Observatory : A radio astronomy facility for the SKA era

2 Day workshop, Jodrell Bank Observatory 15-16th September 2016

The webpage of the next of this series of meetings (Sept 2017) is available at e-MERLIN and the EVN in the SKA era 2017

Workshop motivation:

MK2 and Lovell telescopese-MERLIN
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The UK is taking a global leadership role in the SKA project. The HQ of the SKA Organization will be based in the UK at Jodrell Bank, and the UK is leading the international investment in the SKA.

e-MERLIN, the UK's National Radio Astronomy facility, and the 76-m Lovell Telescope constitute major radio astronomical facilities providing sub- arcsecond resolution imaging capabilities and state-of-the-art pulsar time- domain capabilities. Both are unique and world-class facilities and in combination have 25% of the collecting area of SKA1-mid with similar baseline and frequency coverage making them a powerful standalone instrument and pathfinder for SKA science.

We invite the UK's astronomical community to an open workshop discussing the latest science results from e-MERLIN and the Lovell telescopes and the development of a new integrated radio facility for the next era of Radio Astronomy.

Science Topics:

  • Galaxy Evolution
  • Deep galactic and extragalactic radio surveys
  • Lensing and Cosmology
  • High resolution radio imaging
  • Planet and star-formation astrophysics
  • Pulsar and time-domain astrophysics
  • Transients and variability

Technical developments:

  • Fully integrated Lovell and e-MERLIN operations Phased Array Feed for the Lovell telescope - factor 4 increase in survey speed
  • New Receiver Bands - matching SKA1-Mid coverage
  • Increased bandwidth data transmission - for increased sensitivity and band coverage
  • Rapid trigger for transient and variable observations
  • Tied-array operations for time-domain astrophysics
  • New telescopes and combined VLBI/e-MERLIN arcsecond-to- milliarcsecond imaging
  • Advanced imaging and non-imaging analysis techniques A UK test-bed for SKA science and technology

Workshop programme:

The full programme along with talks is available here

Workshop objectives:

At this first kick-off workshop, the UK community is invited to contribute ideas and visions for the strategic development of the UK's National radio astronomy facility. The workshop will combine the presentation of new scientific opportunities alongside discussion and prioritisation of the options for technical developments and capability enhancements. Additional open meetings and themed workshops are planned later in 2016 and early 2017. To facilitate open discussion, this initial workshop will be limited to approximately 40 attendees. It will be hosted at Jodrell Bank Observatory, and sponsored by the University of Manchester and the e-MERLIN National Radio Astronomy Facility.

For further information please contact Rob Beswick (Robert.Beswick[at]manchester.ac.uk)

Scientific Organizing Committee:

Mike Garrett (ASTRON/JBCA - Co-Chair), Paul Alexander (Cambridge), Philip Best (Edinburgh), Stewart Eyres (UCLAN), Rob Fender (Oxford), Simon Garrington (JBCA - Co-Chair), Mike Jones (Oxford), Carole Mundell (Bath), Ben Stappers (JBCA)

Local Organizing Committee:

Rob Beswick, Simon Garrington, Tom Muxlow, Javier Moldon, Nick Wrigley, Jane Cox, Alison Fletcher, Megan Argo

We are grateful to the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, the e-MERLIN National facility and The University of Manchester for sponsoring this meeting.


The meeting is centred on talks by invited speakers but we encourage anyone interested in the project to join in with discussion. Please use this form for registration.

There will be no registration fee for attendees at this meeting. Lunches and coffee on all days, and transport to and from the recommended hotel will be provided (see below).


The full programme along with talks is available here

Meeting Location : Jodrell Bank Observatory
Thursday 15th September:
09:30 - Bus pickup for delegates staying in Alderley Edge (De Trafford Hotel)
09:45 : Registration
10:00 : Sesssion 1
11:30 : Morning Coffee Break
11:45 : Session 2
13:00 : Lunch break
14:00 : Session 3
15:30 : Afternoon Tea break
16:00 : Session 4
17:30 : End of Day
17:30- 18:30 : drinks Reception at JBO
18:30 : Reception meal at JBO Discovery Centre
20:00 : Bus transport back to Alderley Edge.
Friday 16th September:
08:30 - Bus pickup for delegates staying in Alderley Edge (De Trafford Hotel)
09:00 : Session 5
10:30 : Morning Coffee Break
11:00 : Session 6
13:00 :Lunch break
14:00 : Session 7
16:00 : End of meeting
16:15-16:30 : Bus transportation provided if required back to Railway Station.


If you need an invitation letter to obtain a Visa to enter the UK please get in touch with Rob Beswick (robert.beswick@manchester.ac.uk) or Alison Fletcher (alison.fletcher@manchester.ac.uk)


During the meeting we will provide a Bus transportation between Alderley Edge and Jodrell Bank Observatory. There are a number of hotels available in Alderley Edge, however we recommend that you reserve a room at the De Trafford hotel. A number of rooms at the De Trafford Hotel in Alderley Egde for external delegates (please mention the 'JBO meeting' when reserving you room).

In addition to the De Trafford there are a number of other options for delegates within Alderley Edge which can be booked, but please note that you will need to meet the bus at the De Trafford hotel, or you will need to find your own transportation to Jodrell Bank Observatory. If you are booked in an alternative hotel or B& B, or wish to use the bus from Alderley Edge, please inform Alison Fletcher (alison.fletcher@manchester.ac.uk) so that we can ensure that there is ample space on the bus.

Travel and directions

The meeting is taking place at Jodrell Bank Observatory, located 20 miles south of Manchester. Ample car parking is available for delegates who chose to drive in the Jodrell Bank Discovery Car park. The meeting will be held within the discovery centre buildings (Wolfson Auditorium)

By Airplane

The closest airport is Manchester International Airport.

By Train

Transport to Alderley Edge (or Wilmslow which is a short taxi ride from Alderley Edge) by train can best be arranged by using the National Rail Enquiries website.


By Taxi

If you wish to take a taxi from the airport, then we recommend using Arrow Cars rather than a black cab as they are considerably cheaper. You can find the Arrow Car desk inside the terminals at the airport or you can book them online.