To promote and discuss future developments in Optical/Infrared astronomy, the AfAS Science Committee organised and held a workshop on 8 November 2021, that brought together astronomers from across the African continent to discuss the idea of an African Integrated Observation System and share information about their existing and future observatories and capabilities that would contribute to this continent-wide effort and synergies with the SAAO’s Intelligent Observatory and the proposed BRICS Intelligent Telescope and Data Network (BITDN). The workshop was fully virtual on Zoom and attended by key individuals from existing and upcoming Optical/Infrared observatories from across the African continent.
This first workshop focused on the networking of existing telescopes but also began a discussion on data access and sharing.
- Share information on the status of the observatories, instruments, and scientific capabilities.
- Learn more about the nature of existing of planned data networks and telescope control systems and the potential for interconnection
- Discuss the management of the observatories and observing time on instruments.
- Discuss past/current/future research and scientific focus.
- Discuss data availability and data facilities.
- Discuss existing Big Data and Big Compute projects
- Discuss a flagship project towards an African Integrated Observation System
- Discuss synergies with the BRICS Astronomy Association and the BRICS Intelligent Telescope and Data Network
- Way forward on Africa working towards the development of a network of optical/infrared telescopes, with the likes of South Africa, Namibia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria – these countries already have active optical observatories doing research.
- Establishment of a working group with representation from existing African observatories to work on the implementation and rollout plan for networking existing telescopes.
- Identification of strategic partnerships for implementation of the African Integrated Observation System.