The AHEAD TNA ground and test facility will give access to some of the best European ground test and calibration facilities relevant for high-energy astrophysics. Such facilities are used to test and/or calibrate new technology space hardware as well as hardware developed for specific space missions, but can be used in a wider context. Those facilities are currently only offered in the context of international and national collaborations or (rarely) via access costs at the expense of the external teams. With the implementation of a network of facilities in the AHEAD TNA, external team access costs will be covered with the support of the European Commission, strengthening scientific and technological exchanges among European and international teams. In particular, we foresee that such a novel facility network will enable access to teams in European and Associated Countries with no national access to ground facilities and, thus, to benefit from the Transnational Access inbeing able to test and calibrate their instruments with no strings attached. They will also be able to take advantage of high-level, already equipped and fully working facilities at no cost. The participation of the research facilities offering Transnational Access via AHEAD will increase the availability and access of these facilities at the European and international level, and will extend the services offered to the high-energy astrophysics scientific community as well as to a broader community.
- Provision of access to the following infrastructures:
INAF Distributed Calibration and Test Facility (IDCTF): 1 installation at INAF-OAPA and 3 installations at INAF-IAPS
- LARge Italian X-ray facility (LARIX): 2 installations at UNIFE
- University of Leicester Space Research Centre (ULSRC): 2 installations
- SPATIAL at LAM/CNRS and Aix-Marseille University: 1 installation
- Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL): 2 installations
- Space Test Laboratories (STL) at Università di Perugia: 2 installations
Support offered to external teams: During the H2020 program we will offer to external visiting teams, in some cases at a reduced cost, a level of scientific and technical support equivalent to those usually offered to laboratory or industrial teams, with additional support to the selected external teams for travel and living expenses.
In particular with EU funds we plan:
- To cover the travel and subsistence expenses of the peer-review selection committee. To reduce
running cost we foresee to hold most of the selection process by telematic means, however face to face
meeting of the selection committee may be hold in connection with the periodic intermediate report of the
- To cover the travel and subsistence expenses of team consisting of a maximum of three guest users. We
assume a travel cost of 400 euros per person, and a daily subsistence cost of 130 euro per person. Visit
length will depend on the required facility and planned testing; typical durations will range between 3 and 10
- To organize, in the case of complex facility and/or complex test run, short-term preparatory visits of
(maximum) 2 people between the facility team and the selected external teams.;
- To support visits for teams interested to propose only a site or training visit independent on whether it will be followed on by a test campaign. For example, the purpose could be to explore the suitability of the facility for their studies, or to receive adequate training prior to the execution of a campaign;
If mechanical or electrical interfaces of substantial complexity will be required for performing the planned
test, the associated costs should be covered by the guest teams and will not be covered by the hosting
infrastructures nor by the AHEAD funds.