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NRT Summer Conferences

The New Robotic Telescope (NRT) team were fortunate enough to visit two major astronomy conferences this summer. With presentations and discussions about a wide variety of science and engineering topics taking place in Coventry, UK and Montréal, Canada.


The National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) is held annually at a UK university and includes the UK Solar Physics (UKSP), and the Magnetosphere Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial (MIST) communities. This year NAM was hosted at Warwick University from 11th to 15th July and welcomed astronomers and solar physicists from a variety of different universities and institutions. A diverse range of parallel science sessions, along with plenary talks, stimulated new research and ideas and provided a well-earned catch up with colleagues.


Photograph of Chris Copperwheat holding a microphone and standing in front of a curved-seated seminar room. People in the crowd are looking at him and behind him are two large screens showing the title 'The New Robotic Telescope' with a background photo of the Liverpool Telescope.
Chris Copperwheat presenting the NRT project update at the National Astronomy Meeting at Warwick University.

The NRT had a parallel session in which speakers presented: a project overview (Chris Copperwheat, LJMU), an introduction to the scheduling project (David Law, LJMU), software architecture examples that could be applicable the NRT project (C. Clare Worley, Cambridge), polarimetric transient surveys (Klaas Wiersema, Lancaster), comet science (Cyrielle Opitom, Edinburgh) and accreting binary observations with the NRT (Chris Duffy, Armagh). There were also poster presentations about blazar observations (Callum McCall, LJMU), supernovae classification systems (Dan Perley, LJMU), cloud prediction models (Sebastian Buntin, LJMU) and recurrent novae searches (Michael Healey, LJMU). The session lead to some fruitful discussions about science capabilities, instrumentation, scheduling and transient brokers.


The following week members of the NRT team attended the SPIE astronomical telescopes and instrumentation meeting from 17th - 22nd July in Montréal, Canada.


Photograph of eight members of the NRT team standing next to the NRT banner (about 7 feet high with a picture of the telescope, a background of stars and some text). The team are all smiling at the camera and are surrounded by banners and stands in the exhibition area of the conference.
Members of the NRT project at the Spanish Science Industry stand at SPIE.

A variety of talks and poster presentation were given by members of the team from the IAC, LJMU and University of Ljubljana, including an update of the NRT optical design which was presented on the main stage by Instrument Scientist Éamonn Harvey.


Photograph of Éamonn Harvey standing on the main stage at the SPIE conference holding a laser pointer. To the left is a large screen displaying the different stages of the NRT project. Behind Éamonn is a blue sign with 'SPIE' written on it. A few members of the audience are also visible in the front row.
Éamonn Harvey presenting the optical design of the NRT on the main stage at the SPIE conference.

The SPIE conference was a great opportunity for the team to share their work, gain new insights and meet new people. In addition to enjoying the conference, the team also participated in a range of popular activities in Montréal such as eating poutine, spotting beavers and scaling the walls of indoor climbing hangars.