MUSIC is a consortium for Members of the U.S. optical/infrared Interferometry Community
MUSIC began on February 1st 2007.
A MUSIC email list exists for the distribution of news and updates. Should you wish to be added to this list please contact Theo ten Brummelaar.
Summary of MUSIC activities and white papers in preparation for the Astro2020 Decadal Review.
A new initiative Visibility in Interferometry was started by Rachael Roettenbacher and Claudia Paladini to improve the representation of underrepresented groups in interferometry. As part of this effort, they are compiling a list of contact information and research areas of women in interferometry that can be used as a reference to diversify invited speaker lists.
Several members of MUSIC participated in the NOAO Decadal Planning Workshop held in Tucson, AZ on Feb 20-21, 2018. Links to presentations are available through the meeting website. Two white papers on optical/infrared interferometry were submitted in response to the NOAO planning call.
For a brief record of how the MUSIC approached preparations for Astro2010, see Decadal_Review_Activities. The brief summary of the outcome is that the M-USIC managed the preparation of one Science White paper, one Policy Position paper, one Technology paper, and one Activity paper. All told, some 70+ papers to Astro2010 either emphasized or referenced the capabilities of optical interferometry. For a more detailed accounting and for access to the papers, see ASTRO2010_White_Papers .
In 2013, the MUSIC collaborated in the formation of the Interferometry Forum, an international organization that extends the MUSIC mission to the international stage, under the sponsorship of the International Astronomical Union Commission 54.
The MUSIC has responded to the invitation from the National Academy for contributed white papers on the topic, “A Strategy to Optimize the U.S. Optical and Infrared System in the Era of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)”. The paper “Funding technology development and novel instrumentation today in order to enable breakthrough observing techniques tomorrow ” addresses the concerns for funding of innovative instrumentation and technology. The paper “Supporting Community Access to Optical/Infrared Interferometry ” discusses the need for community access to optical interferometry and the importance of NSF programs which support it.
The MUSIC is a successor activity to a series of predecessor groups. The first was the Committee on Ground-Based Interferometry, an ad hoc and self-forming group to study to future of interferometry, chaired by Deane Peterson. The COGBI was active from March 2005 until June 2006, and functioned by occasional telecon.
The COGBI contributed to preparations for the NOAO Workshop on Future Directions for Interferometry. The workshop attracted more than 60 participants to a two-day working meeting. See http://www.noao.edu/meetings/interferometry/ for the agenda, contributions and report.
Following the NOAO Workshop, the COGBI morphed into the Platform of US based optical interferometers, chaired by Erik Bakker. At this time, the participation was primarily by scientists involved with the classical arrays.
In February 2007, the Platform was renamed the United States Interferometry Consortium (M-USIC = pronounced You Ess Eye See, please) and the group recruited participation by Keck Interferometer and LBTI. The current chair is Tom Armstrong. Past chairs are Theo ten Brummelaar and MIchelle Creech-Eakman.
It is natural to think of space as the ideal venue for interferometry, with no disturbing/absorbing atmosphere and with easy reconfiguration of free-floating telescopes. MUSIC represents the U.S. ground-based interferometry community. It does not try to speak for the space intereferometry community, but needless to say, there are many links, technically, scientifically, and in exchanges of scientific and technical personnel. This has been evident and richly exploited by NASA in the simultaneous development of SIM technology and Keck Interferometer, while operating the Palomar Testbed Interferometer. It is reasonable to expect continuing significant transfers, in both directions, in scientific and technical arenas, and we look forward to continued fruitful collaboration between these communities, developing strategies which make optimum utilization of both ground and space platforms.