The SKA offers an unprecedented improvement in sensitivity that, when combined the existing global VLBI facilities, will potentially provide an order of magnitude improvement in astrometric precision. Thus the distance to which meaningful cosmological measurements can be made.
This PhD would be part of our effort to develop next-generation methods for ultra-high precision astrometry with the next-generation facilities; these include the SKA, at high and low frequencies, and investigations for ngVLA (the new American VLBI array) ngEHT (the new Event Horizon Telescope) and even Space VLBI (which links into the UWA International Space Centre).
The specific PhD research topic would be to demonstrate the new methods on current facilities. In particular to develop and demonstrate MultiView VLBI using the Australian Geodetic array (AuScope) with the University of Tasmania. This will provide the first high-precision astrometric measurements of Methanol Masers in the inner quadrants of our Galaxy. The other leg of the project will be preparing the methods and making early demonstrations of VLBI operations for SKA-Low, which is a largely unexplored field. The Australians are planning a Low Frequency VLBI demonstrator LAMBDA and this PhD will carve the pathway for this instrument.
This PhD position is co-funded by the ARC and UWA.