Two astronomy networks, the OPTICON and Radionet, are coming together to form Europe’s largest ground-based astronomy collaborative network: the ORP which brings together some twenty telescopes and telescope arrays.
The ORP will provide scientists with access to a wide range of instruments, promote training for young astronomers, and open the way to new discoveries.
The CNRS, which runs and contributes to several optical and radio telescopes, will be responsible for coordinating the ORP, which is supported by €15 million of funding from the H2020 programme.
Astronomers from 15 European countries, Australia and South Africa, as well as from 37 institutions, have already joined the ORP.
In France, the following organisations are members of the consortium:
- three research institutions: the CNRS, the French national aerospace research centre ONERA, and the Institut d'Optique Graduate School (group Imaging and Information of Laboratoire Charles Fabry);
- three research laboratories: the Laboratoire Lagrange (CNRS/Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur/Université Côte d'Azur), the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université/CNES) and the Laboratoire d'Études Spatiales et d'Instrumentation en Astrophysique (Observatoire de Paris - PSL/CNRS/Sorbonne Université/Université de Paris);
- two astronomical telescopes in the visible : T193 of Observatoire de Haute-Provence, and Telescope Bernard Lyot of Pic du Midi3;
- five international partner infrastructures: the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope; the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM) (CNRS/Max-Planck-Gesellschaft/Instituto Geográfico Nacional), with its 30-metre telescope in Spain and its NOEMA observatory located in the French Alps; the LOFAR radio telescope; the SKA observatory; and the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE) consortium.