Motivations for creating a new Virtual Institute of Cosmology at USP

Published byadmin@brz on September 11, 2013 at 14:02.


The NAP LabCosmos will have a crucial role in providing the institutional infrastructure that we need to carry out our work in large projects with a high level of international collaboration. Large astrophysical surveys are highly complex interdisciplinary projects, and they necessitate the close collaboration of teams of astronomers, physicists, engineers
and computer scientists. At USP, these researchers are scattered in many different units and departments, and there is a spatial and academic gap that must be bridged in order to facilitate their work.

We are already involved in many large collaborations with top institutions, and we have achieved a high level of support from state and federal funding agencies. However, in contrast to our partners in such centers as Caltech, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, IMPU/University of Tokyo and IAA, we cannot count with an institutional support structure for our work. This NAP will fill that gap, supporting and coordinating the activities of a diverse group of researchers from several departments at USP, who
work on the same projects.

Managing the financial and human resources in these projects is a highly complex task for scientists. LabCosmos is the instrument that will allow us to properly and efficiently manage these projects. It will also facilitate the coordination of the instrumentation projects, not only because of the institutional infrastructure, but also due to the improved dialog and collaboration between astronomers, physicists and computer scientists
with the the instrumentation groups, which is an important incentive to interdisciplinarity. One of our goals is that LabCosmos becomes a reference center for astronomical instrumentation projects, and helps to improve the contact with brazilian industry, stimulating them to participate in our projects. The consolidation of a center with projects
of this scope will finally allow us to achieve one of the main long-term goals of brazilian astronomy: the formation of a core group of pressionals specialized in astronomical instrumentation. We want to develop state-of-the-art instruments in Brazil, and for that the support of the NAP LabCosmos will be essential.