2020 SARA Western Conference Announcement


2020 SARA Western Conference to be Held in
Socorro, New Mexico, USA

The 2020 SARA Western Conference will be held at the Pete V. Domenici Science Operations Center in Socorro, New Mexico on March 27 to 29, 2020.


The town of Socorro is the home of NRAO operations in New Mexico (NM). Located on the campus of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech), the Pete V. Domenici Science Operations Center houses scientific, engineering, technical, computer and support staff for both the Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). The Science Operations Center also houses the control center and correlator for VLBA observations and hosts personnel working on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) project.


The keynote speaker will be Dr. Mark McKinnon, Assistant Director for New Mexico Operations at National Radio Astronomy Observatory.  In addition to presentations by SARA members, we plan to have other speakers from the NRAO SOC in Socorro, and from the UNM Long Wavelength Array (LWA) project.  On Sunday, March 29, we will have a tour of the Very Large Array (VLA) site west of Socorro.  Additional details will be published online and in the SARA journal as we get closer to the conference date. Register now to avoid the rush and to guarantee a seat at the conference.

VLA site tour: The Very Large Array consists of 27 parabolic dish reflector antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin approximately fifty miles west of Socorro: http://www.vla.nrao.edu/. Each antenna is 25 m in diameter (image, upper-right). The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give a resolution equivalent to an antenna 36 km across, with the sensitivity of a dish 130 m in diameter. The array has undergone an expansion project called the EVLA, or Expanded VLA. The facility also is the home of the UNM Long Wavelength Array (LWA): http://www.phys.unm.edu/~lwa/index.html. The LWA uses many inexpensive antennas to synthesize a very large aperture. The LWA is designed to probe the depths of space at relatively low frequencies between 10 and 88 MHz. There are 256 antennas in an antenna station and each is a drooping dual-dipole about 1.5 m high and 2.7 m across (image, lower-right).  Other stations have been built or are under construction in New Mexico.  There is also a partnership with the OVRO-LWA project run by Caltech.


Contact: Please contact conference coordinator Dave Westman if you have any questions about the conference or if you would like to help: westernconf_at_radioastronomy_dot_org.  Website: www.radio-astronomy.org


Presentations and proceedings: Papers and presentations on radio astronomy hardware, software, education, research strategies, philosophy, and observing efforts and methods are welcome. The deadline for submitting a letter of intent to the conference coordinator including a proposed title and informal abstract or outline is 15 January 2020. Formal proceedings will be published for this conference. We will also make presentations available to attendees electronically on a USB drive.


Registration: Registration for the 2020 Western Conference is just US$80.00.  Attendees at the conference must be SARA members; if you are not yet a member, this will cost an additional $20.  The fee includes lunch and snacks on Friday and Saturday and lunch on Sunday.  Payment can be made by going to www.paypal.com and directing payment to treas_at _radio-astronomy_dot_org. Please include in comments that the payment is for the 2020 Western Conference. You also can mail a check to SARA Treasurer, 7237 Woodbrook Dr., Tampa, FL 33625 USA. Please include an e-mail address so a confirmation can be sent to you upon receipt of payment.


Hotel reservations: To be announced; there will be a special SARA rate at one of the hotels in town.

Saturday night dinner: We will make a group dinner reservation at a local restaurant for Saturday night. Please let us know before 1 March if you plan to attend this dinner so we can include you in the reservations. Send an email to: westernconf_at_radio-astronomy_dot_org


Directions and Maps:  The nearest airport is the Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ).  Directions to Socorro and the Pete V. Domenici Science Operations Center can be found at this link: https://science.nrao.edu/about/socorro/maps  and a map for the drive from Socorro, NM to the VLA https://science.nrao.edu/about/socorro/SocorroToVLA.jpg



Call for Papers, 2020 SARA Western Conference
Socorro, New Mexico, USA

The Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) hereby solicits papers for presentation at its 2020 Western Conference, to be held March 27 through March 29, at the VLA SOC in Socorro, New Mexico. Papers on radio astronomy hardware, software, education, research strategies, observations and philosophy are welcome.  SARA members or supporters wishing to present a paper should email a letter of intent, including a proposed title and informal abstract or outline to westernconf_at_radio-astronomy_dot_org no later than 15 January 2020 (please let us know if you require more time). Be sure to include your full name, affiliation, postal address, and email address, and indicate your willingness to attend the conference to present your paper. Submitters will receive an email response, typically within one week. Formal printed Proceedings will be published for this conference and all presentations can be made available on CD. Website: www.radio-astronomy.org