2013 SARA Western Regional Conference at Socorro, New Mexico

The 2013 SARA Western Regional Conference will be held at Best Western Socorro Hotel & Suites in New Mexico on Saturday and Sunday, February 9 and 10, 2013. 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 (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 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 (image, lower-right).

Contact: Please contact conference coordinator Whit Reeve if you have any questions about the conference or if you would like to help: westernconference@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 1 December 2012. 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.

Registration: Registration for the 2013 Western Regional Conference is just US$50.00. This includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Payment can be made by going to www.paypal.com and directing payment to treasurer@radio-astronomy.org. Please include in comments that the payment is for the Western Regional Conference. You also can mail a check to SARA, 2189 Redwood Ave, Washington, IA 52353 USA. Please include an e-mail address so a confirmation can be sent to you upon receipt of payment.

Hotel reservations: To reserve rooms at the Best Western Socorro Hotel & Suites call the hotel directly at +1 575-838-0556 and ask for SARA rate (pick-up No. 99839-99850). Rates are US$86.24 for single and US$97.44 for double occupancy. Please note that you cannot get the special rate by internet or by calling the toll-free 800 number to Best Western. When you call, do not press "1" for reservations – that will take you to the 800 call center. The address of the hotel is: 1100 N California Street, Socorro, New Mexico 87801-4266. Website: http://bestwesternnewmexico.com/hotels/best-western-socorro-hotel-and-su....

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