Nieke Roos
13 December 2022

The Radioblocks project coordinated by the Jive institute in Dwingeloo has been granted 10 million euros by the European Commission to develop common building blocks for new radio telescopes. Taking a holistic view of how cosmic signals are captured, processed, synthesized and analyzed, the consortium aims to deliver components, technologies and software that enable a wide range of instruments to do the next major discoveries. The 4-year project, funded by the Horizon Europe Framework Program, will start on 1 March 2023.

Credit: Jive

Radioblocks is going to build new correlators to efficiently combine the data of multiple telescopes, using state-of-the-art commercially available accelerator hardware (GPUs). The project is also developing cutting-edge RF and IF detectors and back-ends with built-in RF interference mitigation. Other deliverables include new multipixel receivers, ranging from cm to sub-mm wavelengths, suitable for large single dish facilities, and technology for data (post)processing, testing prototype workflows and demonstrating usage of end-to-end simulation tools.

Building on the successful Radionet consortium, Radioblocks brings together 33 major European research infrastructures for radio astronomy and industrial and academic partners from nine European countries, Japan, Korea, South Africa and the UK. Among the Dutch collaborators are the universities of Delft, Groningen, Leiden and Nijmegen, Lofar and the Event Horizon Telescope. The project is led by the Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (Jive), which is co-located with Astron in Dwingeloo and connects radio telescopes in multiple European countries to create one big facility.