Following the Photons

Astronomical Simulations for Instruments & Telescopes

10-12th October 2011, Royal Observatory Edinburgh

Following The Photons Workshop Image

The scientific questions posed by modern astronomy require facilities and surveys with greater complexity and data volumes than ever before. To ensure the maximum return from the investment in these facilities, simulations have become an integral ingredient in their design and operation, and in the extraction of optimum scientific results from the observations. These simulations span each stage of the system, from realistic modelling of astronomical sources through to detector performances.

This three-day workshop will provide an informal and vibrant forum to discuss simulation efforts across a range of new and future facilities, in part to highlight the essential role that such efforts now play in astronomy. The programme will include contributions relating to telescopes and instruments that have recently entered operation or that are currently in the construction or planning phases (e.g. Herschel, PanSTARRS, ALMA, Gaia, JWST, E-ELT, Euclid and others).

Keynote Talks
Speaker Title
Xavier Luri (University of Barcelona) Gaia, the Universe in 3D: an overview of the mission
Andrew Connolly (University of Washington) Simulations for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
Confirmed Invited Talks
Speaker Title
Michael Davidson (University of Edinburgh) Modelling charge-transfer effects from radiation damage for the Gaia mission
Bianca Garilli (INAF Milan/LAM) End-to-end simulations for space missions: the case of the Euclid spectrograph
Rene Gastaud (CEA Saclay) Imaging simulations for the Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) for the James Webb Space Telescope
Remy Indebetouw (University of Virginia) Data simulations for the Atacama Large Millimetre Array
Nick Kaiser (University of Hawaii) Configuring the Pan-STARRS optics - from simulations to operational control system
Joe Liske (ESO) The Design Reference Mission of the European Extremely Large Telescope
Robert Lupton (Princeton University) Using simulations to commission algorithms and pipelines
Bruce Sibthorpe (UK Astronomy Technology Centre) Instrument simulations for the Herschel mission and their impact on survey design
Richard Wilson (University of Durham) Characterisation and simulations of atmospheric turbulence

Interested in Attending?

The workshop will start mid-morning on Monday 10th, finishing at lunch on Wednesday 12th. Registration is now open, please register if you want to attend the workshop.

Registration & Abstracts

Now open at the :

Workshop Registration Page

Registration is £120 (£40 for students) which includes lunches and the workshop dinner at St. Leonards Hall on the tuesday evening.

We now invite contributed talks and poster contributions - please submit abstracts via the registration form by **Friday 16th September**.


There is a wide range of accommodation in Edinburgh, a list of nearby guest houses (bed & breakfast), and some city hotels is available at the:

ROE Accommodation Page

Problem-solving workshop

We are planning an additional half-day workshop on the afternoon of 12th October run by Dr. Hermine Schnetler (Head of Systems Engineering at the UK ATC). It will use the "Theory of Inventive Problem Solving" methods to design an astronomical instrument/facility to illustrate how we can all be more creative and innovative on demand. This is primarily aimed at students and early-stage researchers, but all are welcome to attend. To register interest or for further information, please email by Friday 16th September.

LOC Members

Chris Evans (Chair), Steven Beard, Vivienne Bon, Jason Cowan, Alina Kiessling, Richard Massey, Avery Meiksin, Noah Schwartz and Bruce Sibthorpe.


For general enquiries about the workshop please contact

The ROE conference is supported by the UK Astronomy Technology Centre and the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Edinburgh.