About 40 scientists from China, the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) and its member nations gathered in Madrid from March 7th to 8th to participate in the China-ESAC astronomic satellite instrument calibration and science operations workshop. Planned at the China-ESA space science bilateral meeting in 2010, the workshop aimed to optimize the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) Project based on the needs of instrument calibration and science operations.
China has not launched any space astronomic satellite yet, and so has little experience as to the science operations and instrument calibration. During the workshop, the Chinese participants reported on the problems and challenges that need to be tackled, the ESAC scientists delivered 22 talks covering a wide range of science operations and calibration of ESA astronomic satellites, such as the contributions from the users' group to project development, software development and maintenance in a distributed environment, X-ray calibration and data processing, etc. After extended discussions, the Chinese attendees received a lot of valuable suggestions.
Prof. David Southwood, ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, spoke highly of the serious and active attitude of the Chinese scientists in the workshop, which would also encourage ESAC staff in their future research. It was decided that a joint working group would be set up and three or four experts from each side would be chosen to draft plans for collaboration in the next year for the official approval of CAS and ESA.
After the meeting, the IHEP attendees visited the Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica and University of Ferrara in Italy to discuss the HXMT instruments and possible collaboration between the two institutes. Minutes of the meeting were also signed.
groupphoto of the China-ESAC astronomic satellite instrument calibration and science operations workshop