Dissemination & Training

VLTI Interferometer Schools

The European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) is the top optical-infrared interferometer in the world. By combining the light from four telescopes it can deliver angular information at the milli-arcsecond scale. However, the training in this technique is very uneven in Europe, being essentially concentrated in the instrument building consortia, mostly in France and Germany.

In order to grow the user base, European schools have been taking place every year or two. These are hands-on schools focused on observational programme design using standard tools. They also include an observational proposal preparation session with oral talks by the students. Lecturers are members of consortia which built VLTI instrument, prominent users of VLTI as well as ESO staff involved in VLTI operations.

These schools are very successful: nearly 25% of the alumni end up publishing a VLTI paper. Furthermore, alumni represent 20% of the VLTI papers lead authors.

The next training school was planned for 2020, but due to COVID, it has been postponed to 2021.

Inquiries and applications for the next school should be sent to training@european-interferometry.eu.

VLTI Community Days

The objectives and target audience of the VLTI Open Days are three-fold:

  • To bring the VLT to the general public. This will include talks given by VLTI researchers about the VLTI and its research highlights.
  • To provide more technical talks for VLTI experts and junior/experienced astronomers unfamiliar with interferometric techniques. This will include an introduction to the instrumentation and roadmap, as well as a presentation of the available VLTI software and user support (VLTI Expertise Centres).
  • To invite current and potential stakeholders for a round table to discuss possible participation and collaboration in the VLTI roadmap. These will include local government, funding agencies and private companies, amongst others.