The next generation of VLBI, the VLBI Global Observing System (VGOS), is being developed and installed at many places world-wide. FGI is also commissioning the VGOS antenna at Metsähovi, which will be a part of this global network.
The General Meeting of the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS) is a biannual event that gathers scientists and engineers to share their recent developments and research on Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). VLBI is a radio astronomical technique that provides for geodesy and astronomy the real-time orientation and position of the Earth in space and detailed information on quasars which are distant extragalactic radio sources. IVS is a Service of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) that collects, analyses and provides products of the VLBI observations.
At Metsähovi Geodetic Research Station we are working on commissioning the new VLBI Global Observing System (VGOS) compatible radio telescope that will be a part of the global IVS network. This development sparked great interest among the participants.
Due to the covid-pandemic, the conference was organized as a virtual event. It attracted 170 participants from more than 20N countries. Arvo Kokkonen, Director General of the National Land Survey of Finland, welcomed the participants. Secretary-General of IAG, Professor Markku Poutanen, gave the welcoming remarks on behalf of the IAG, and Professor Rüdiger Haas, the chair of the IVS, opened the meeting.
– We are glad that despite the external factors we had a successful IVS General Meeting that brought many people around the world together. We exchanged and shared the information on the latest development of the IVS components, our latest research and got new ideas and discussed plans for the upcoming work, says specialist research scientist Nataliya Zubko of the FGI, who was the chair of the local organizing committee.
In addition to the conference, FGI organised an IVS Training school on VLBI for Geodesy and Astrometry.
– The aim of this training school is to prepare for the next generation of VLBI, both in terms of the technical development and conveying knowledge between generations of researchers, says Nataliya Zubko, who was elected as a new chair of the IVS Working Group on Education and Training.
Since the school was organised online, it received a record number of participants. Interestingly, the first IVS Training school was also organized in Finland in 2013. Since then, the school has been organized every three years.