2017 SARA Western Regional Conference

 2017 SARA Western Regional Conference
Socorro, New Mexico, USA

The 2017 SARA Western Regional Conference will be held at the Pete V. Domenici Science Operations Center in Socorro, New Mexico on March 17 to 19, 2017.


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 Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA) 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.


We will have a tour of the Very Large Array (VLA) site west of Socorro. In addition to presentations by SARA members, we plan to have speakers from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory Array Operations Center (NRAO AOC) in 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:



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 been undergoing an expansion project called the EVLA, or Expanded VLA. The facility also is the home of the Long Wavelength Array (LWA): http://www.phys.unm.edu/~lwa/index.html. The LWA uses many inexpensive antennas to provide 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:


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

Conference Schedule

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 2017. Formal proceedings will be published for this conference. If presenters want to submit a paper or a copy of their presentation, we can make them available to attendees on a CD.

Conference Abstracts

Registration: Registration for the 2017 Western Regional Conference is just US$60.00. This includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday and 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 Western Regional Conference. You also can mail a check to SARA, 2946 Montclair Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45211 USA. Please include an e-mail address so a confirmation can be sent to you upon receipt of payment.


Hotel reservations: Lodging during the conference can be reserved at the Best Western Hotel & Suites in Socorro for a special rate of $101.48 per night (89.24 + tax per night single or double occupancy), by calling (575)838-0556 or writing bestwesternsocorro@yahoo.com


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@radio-astronomy.org.


Directions and Maps: 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 from Socorro, NM to the VLA https://science.nrao.edu/about/socorro/SocorroToVLA.jpg