Projects financed from the state budget

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Project title: SST-1M Mini-array Construction and Testing as Technology Demonstrator for the Cherenkov Telescope Array

SST-1M/CTA

 

Funding basis: Decision DIR/WK/2017/12 of 14.12.2017 of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Project budget: 7 880 044,35 PLN (total - consortium) and 522 783,17 PLN (CAMK)



The aim of the current project is to check the parameters and conduct research using a mini-network of two atmospheric imaging Cherenkov telescopes SST-1M for the study of high-energy gamma radiation from space. The equipment validation and calibration carried out as part of the task will enable the implementation of a whole series of valuable, and perhaps even unique scientific research. Systematic observations of the Crab Nebula, well-studied source of gamma emissions in the energy range up to around 100 TeV which is considered to be the main calibrator for gamma astronomy, will be used to calibrate the system. The main observation program will include monitoring the variability of several known bright blazars (active nuclei of galaxies with relativistic jets facing the observer) to determine their duty cycle range and power spectra in the high energy gamma-ray range. As part of the project, we also plan to attempt to measure the stellar intensity interference SII using two Cherenkov telescopes. The implementation of this measurement technique, proposed several decades ago, would constitute a new quality in astronomy in the implementation of measurements by networks of small Cherenkov telescopes. If the planned trials were to be successful, this would be the fundamental result for instrumental astronomy obtained with our SST-1M network.

https://www.cta-observatory.org/




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Project title: Polish-German Astrophysical Observatory - support for ESO space and instrumental missions

OCA/ESO


Funding basis: Decision DIR/WK/2018/09 of 21.12.2018 of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Project budget: 13 272 285,43 PLN



The key scientific task of the project is to performbrightness measurements of about 500 bright stars in several filters, both in the visual and near-infrared range, as well as high-resolution spectroscopy. Photometric measurements must have an uncertainty of no more than 0.008 mag, while radial velocity measurements must have an accuracy of at least 30 m/s for eclipsing systems and 200 m/s for pulsating stars. These data will be used to calibrate several key distance measurement methods, and thus serve to greatly improve the calibration of the cosmic distance scale and the determination of the Hubble constant.

 

The project tasks include:

  1. construction of two robotic optical telescopes (with 1.5m and 80 cm diameter mirrors) equipped with modern CCD cameras and their assembly together with domes, filters, electronics and software in the Observatory Cerro Armazones (OCA) in Chile
  2. preparation of the observatory site for the planned construction of the telescopes
  3. observations and analysis of the obtained astronomical data in order to measure precise distances to many different cosmic objects.

 

The work envisaged in the project will be carried out in a unique astronomical observatory located at the foot of Cerro Armazones in northern Chile, called Observatory Cerro Armazones (OCA). The Cerro Armazones mountain was chosen by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to host the world's largest telescope, the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), due to its stable weather conditions, with more than 340 clear nights per year and record low humidity, therefore the telescopes being built and installed within this project will be in close proximity to the ELT.

https://araucaria.camk.edu.pl/


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Project title: National Center for Quantum Satellite Communications (NCSatKom)


Funding basis: Agreement Nr 7016/IA/SP/2019 of 19.07.2019 of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Project budget: 9 646 000,00 PLN



The project is based on the construction of a robotic telescope and a quantum communication system.
Robotic ground-based telescopes are becoming one of the most important branches of instrumental astronomy. These devices are capable of carrying out at least one night of observation on their own based on general guidelines set by their users, but usually such devices work independently for months and collect huge amounts of data. Robotic telescopes are now also used as sensors in the area of satellites​​and space debris ​​tracking. As part of the Polish Space Strategy, Poland indicated this segment, called SST (Space Surveillance and Tracking), as one of the three basic pillars of the Polish space industry. The aim is to develop the current system for monitoring and tracking of Earth artificial satellites and to assess current and future space threats, such as satellite collisions or their parts. In order to achieve this goal in practice, it is necessary to develop efficient algorithms for the reduction and analysis of data from satellites and terrestrial telescopes, and to ensure confidential communication between the terrestrial and satellite systems. Robotic telescopes can be used as an element of the terrestrial system of communication with satellites through links based on encrypted quantum communication.


More information available here.


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Task title: Computational infrastructure for Polish gravitational wave astrophysics
Virgo

 

Funding basis: Agreement Nr 6931/II-LAN/SP/2019 of 19.07.2019
Co-financing: 360 000,00 PLN

Total value of the task: 398 769,00 PLN

Funding by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education grant for the development of IT infrastructure



Data analysis in the field of gravitational waves requires access to enormous computing power in the shortest possible time after the end of the observation campaign, calibration and data release (this is also important because the periods between collecting and calibrating data and making it public are gradually shortened). In addition, the astrophysicists at CAMK are actively developing new data analysis methods based on machine learning. Therefore, CAMK PAN applied on behalf of the Polish consortium Virgo for the necessary computing resources.

The grant was awarded for the expansion of a large IT infrastructure at CAMK serving the Virgo-Polgraw group (https://polgraw.camk.edu.pl/pl/), which operates within the European Virgo consortium (https: //www.virgo-gw. eu /).



Thanks to the grant, a GPU supercomputer for deep machine learning was purchased. Please, find more information here.

 

Project website




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Project title: Very high energy astrophysics with H.E.S.S.

 

 

Funding basis: Decision 2021/WK/06 of the Ministry of Education and Science

Project budget: : 412 847,37 PLN (total - consortium) and 338 097,37 PLN (CAMK)

 

Description:

The overriding goal of the project is to provide Polish scientists with the opportunity to continue research in the field of very high energy gamma-ray astrophysics using the international High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) observatory in Namibia. These telescopes are designed to observe the Universe in the very high energies, between several dozen GeV and about 100 TeV (the so-called VHE range). Telescopes of the H.E.S.S. Observatory record the Cherenkov radiation produced by the particles of the atmospheric shower resulting from the interaction of high-energy gamma photons with the Earth's atmosphere. The images of the shower make it possible to reconstruct the energy of the original gamma photon and to determine its incoming direction.

 

Scientific objectives of the H.E.S.S. belong to three main thematic groups:

1) searching for sources of cosmic rays (cosmic particle accelerators) and studying their properties and role in the Universe, with particular emphasis on the study of remnants of supernova explosions, pulsar nebulae, pulsars, micro-quasars, binary star systems, star formation regions, galaxies, blazars, radio galaxies, and gamma ray bursts;

2) study of the extragalactic background light (EBL) and the properties and structure of the intergalactic magnetic field;

3) testing fundamental physical theories by looking for traces of dark matter particle annihilation and studying Lorentz invariance. These studies are supplemented by cooperation with observatories operating in other energy ranges, the development of new data analysis methods and the use of modern computer methods for simulation and data acquisition.

 

More information


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Project title: Participation in the programme „Premia na Horyzoncie 2”
 
 Funding basis: Agreement number 526845 /PnH 2/2021
Project budget: : 16 862 839,00  PLN
 
Description:
Salary supplements for staff involved in the implementation of the grant: Sub-percent calibration of the extragalactic distance scale in the era of big surveys – UniverScale, financed by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement number 951549