The Forum on Space Very Long Baseline Interferometry (Space-VLBI) was successfully held in Beijing on September 16-18, 2013. This forum was organized by the International Space Science Institute-Beijing (ISSI-BJ), which was inaugurated on July 16, 2013. The main objective of the forum was to discuss the requirements to achieve a successful Space Very Long Baseline Interferometry (SVLBI) mission. More than 50 scientists both from China and abroad (Australia, Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia, USA) attended this three-day forum.
The meeting was convened by Leonid Gurvits, Joint Institute for VLBI (JIVE), Netherlands, HONG Xiaoyu, Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (SHAO), CAS, and Kenneth Kellemann, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), USA.
China is currently planning a future SVLBI mission; its final proposal is expected to be submitted by the fall of 2015, and to be launched around 2020 if selected. The pre-study of the mission had been started from 2012, and the project team, including scientists and engineers, has been discussing the science objectives of the mission and the design of the payload and satellite for some time. Presentations were given on the complementary SVLBI missions such as VSOP or Radio Astron. Then, the Chinese proposal and the science objectives were presented and discussed as well as the possibility of international collaborations. The interaction between the scientists contributed to define more precisely the science objectives and the success criteria of the mission.
A detailed report of the forum will be published in the next few months.