NRAO Colloquium

Date: Fri. 13 Nov, 2015 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Duration: 1 Hour
Location: NRAO

Dr. Tom Vestrand, astrophysicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, will present the NRAO-NM colloquium. He will present "Thinking Telescopes and Dynamic Coalition Architectures." Across the electromagnetic spectrum from radio frequencies to very-high energy gamma-ray energies, and even in new "multi-messenger" channels like neutrinos and gravitational waves, comprehensive, time-domain, sky surveys are now being developed and deployed. These surveys will be powerful engines for identifying transient behavior and they will drive an explosive growth in the number of opportunities to explore time domain phenomena in astronomical sources. Vestrand posits that optimization of the scientific return in this opportunity-rich environment will require a qualitative change in current observational approach applied to the study of transients. The "Thinking" Telescopes Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory has applied new technologies to construct a network of RAPTOR (RAPid Telescopes for Optical Response) robotic telescopes that autonomously collect real-time optical observations of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs). Vestrand will discuss why this ecosystem of robotic telescopes was built, how he and his team built it, and how it is changing the understanding of gamma ray bursts – nature's largest explosions since the Big Bang. He also will discuss an approach to real-time transient follow-up called a Dynamic Coalition Architecture that has great promise for the optimization of the scientific return in the coming opportunity-rich environment. 11 a.m. in the auditorium of the Domenici Science Operations Center (NRAO).

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