The SKA PAthfinder Radio Continuum Survey (SPARCS) Working Group was established in 2010 with the following goals:
1) To coordinate developments of techniques, to avoid duplication of effort and ensure that each project has access to best practice.
2) To hold cross-project discussions of the specific science goals, to ensure cross-fertilisation of ideas and optimum survey strategies.
3) To coordinate the surveys in their choice of area, depth, location on the sky, and other survey parameters, to maximise the science return from the surveys.
4) To distil the SKA pathfinder experiences into input to the SKA
At the February 2014 SKA meeting it was decided to merge the planned meetings for:
- SPARCS (SKA Pathfinders Radio Continuum Survey WG)
- ASKAP-EMU (the continuum survey of the Australian SKA Pathfinder)
At the last SPARCS meeting in Jodrell Bank, it was decided that future SPARCS meetings will be focussed on particular themes. The theme for this meeting will be: “The Sky, the Whole Sky, and nothing but the Sky”. In other words:
- What science areas require all-sky observations (e.g. clusters, cosmology, searching for the unexpected, legacy)
- How easy is it to include the difficult bits of sky, such as the Galactic Plane?
- How significant will be the non-sky (i.e. interference)?