Global Lambda Integrated Facility

eVLBI: First data from China-Australia, China-Europe and Australia-Europe Baselines



Australia: Mopra, Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF)
China: Sheshan, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Shanghai Astronomical Observatory
Italy: Institute of Radio Astronomy (IRA)
The Netherlands: Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy
Poland: Nicolaus Copernicus University
United Kingdom: University of Manchester; Jodrell Bank Observatory


On 28 August 2007, collaborators in the EXPReS project (Express Production Real-time e-VLBI Service, a three-year project coordinated by the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) and funded by the European Commission) observed a distant galaxy called 3C273 and did the first successful real-time correlation of eVLBI data from Chinese and Australian telescopes, Chinese and European telescopes, and Australian and European telescopes.

The observations were conducted by JIVE staff members, in collaboration with European VLBI Network (EVN) partners in Europe, China and Australia. Participating radio telescopes included the Mopra and Sheshan telescopes during the Chinese-Australian part of the experiment, and the Sheshan, Darnhall, Jodrell Bank, Medicina, Torun and Westerbork telescopes in the European-Chinese part.

Data was transferred to JIVE at a rate of 256 Mbps per telescope. Mopra was connected directly to JIVE through a dedicated 1Gbps lightpath set up by the Australian, Canadian and Dutch national research and education networks AARNet, CANARIE and SURFnet, respectively. The Sheshan telescope was for the first time connected via the Chinese CSTNET and CERNET networks to the new high-speed route across Siberia provided by the EC-sponsored ORIENT and TEIN2 networks, the pan-European GÉANT2 network and finally SURFnet. Most of the European telescopes have been connected for some time via dedicated lightpaths provided by the GÉANT2 partners.

Additional tests with telescopes in Puerto Rico and Chile are planned for the near future. EXPReS aims to implement up to 16 simultaneous 1Gbps network connections between the central processor at JIVE and partner telescopes across Europe, Asia, Australia, South Africa, South America and the USA by 2009.


Special thanks to AARNet (Australia), CANARIE (Canada), CERNET and CSTNet (China), GARR (Italy), JANET (United Kingdom), PIONIER (Poland), SURFnet (Netherlands), and DANTE [GÉANT2, ORIENT and TEIN2] (Europe)