What are the goals of LabCosmos?

Published byadmin@brz on September 11, 2013 at 14:09.

LabCosmos will provide the institutional support that will allow us to consolidate our participation in the international project J-PAS, S-MAPS, ABRAS and PFS/SuMIRe. These ambitious projects aim to map large areas of the sky, identifying billions of astronomical objects. The innovative techniques used in these instruments will enhance the potential for scientific and technical advances, as well as new discoveries, which will bring great visibility for USP and for Brazilian Science in general. LabCosmos will act as an excellence center for scientific and technological innovation, supporting our projects and collaborations with top centers such as Princeton, Caltech, IPMU/University of Tokyo (among others).

The specific goal is to focus these efforts in a Center (the NAP LabCosmos), coordinating and facilitating the work of a multidisciplinary team of astronomers, physicists, engineers and computer scientists of recognized excellence. This coordination will allow us to effectively manage these large astronomical projects, which will then lead to a more robust development of our expertise in the design and construction of large astrophysical surveys, as well as the data analysis (often of many petabytes) and science products from those surveys.

LabCosmos will be instrumental to establish an institutional infrastructure to support the projects J-PAS, S-MAPS, ABRAS and PFS/SuMIRe (described in the Research Project), since it will: 1) optimize the project management and coordination structure for these instruments; 2) promote a robust program of seminars, schools and workshops, both presential as well as virtual, along with an intense exchange program with our international collaborators; 3) train students and technical staff through training in laboratories, as well as short courses; 4) support the infrastructure of the instrumentation laboratories; and 5) sustain initiatives in science education and outreach in the media, Museums, libraries and schools.

LabCosmos aims, therefore, at becoming a multidisciplinary center for excellence that will greatly enhance our (and USP’s) visibility. It will give us the opportunity to conquer a scientific and technical leadership role in the design and exploration of large astrophysical surveys, contributing to solve some of the deepest enigmas in a key area of modern Science.

The success of LabCosmos would have a profound impact in Brazilian Science, in a multidisciplinary field of increasing visibility. Around the world, new centers and institutes are being created with the goal of uniting professionals from different areas in order to plan and optimize the astrophysical surveys of the future, to develop new data management and data mining techniques, and to study how to extract new science from those observations. Brazil still lacks a center of this nature, but we already have a high demand for scientists, engineers, computer scientists and technical staff with that know-how. LabCosmos would fill that gap, being a pioneer institution in Brazil with national and international penetration.

To summarize, LabCosmos will:

  • Create a new environment to articulate the work of researchers and technical personnel at USP, resulting in a reference center not only for Astrophysics and Cosmology, but for astronomical instrumentation as well.
  • Promote an interdisciplinary program of seminars and workshops, both presential and virtual, fostering discussions and a strong program of exchange and visits with our international collaborators.
  • Generate added value to our collaborative efforts, which will result in publications in scientific journals, the training of students in multidisciplinary scientific and technological areas (something we simply do not have at the moment), and the generation and licensing of patents (in fact, some have already been created in the project PFS/SuMIRe, where Brazil has a unique experties in polishing fibers and in the construction of fiber instruments).