CERN and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have signed a cooperation agreement, providing a framework for future close cooperation and the exchange of information. The agreement addresses many areas, including scientific research, technology, and education and public outreach activities.
There is a considerable overlap of interests between ESO, the world’s most productive ground based-observatory, and CERN, the world’s leading particle physics research laboratory. The new agreement will promote strategic coordination of the two organizations’ long-term plans as well as the coordination of scientific and training programmes.
The agreement encourages the coordination of services, tools and resources, in addition to the sharing of best practices in many areas. The organization of joint seminars and workshops is another area of proposed coordination, along with possible exchange of staff.
Specific areas of possible technology coordination include those pertaining to astroparticle physics, and to particle physics accelerators and detectors. Other promising fields are cryogenic techniques and precision metrology for opto-mechanical systems; control systems; mechanical engineering; quality checks and non-destructive testing; radiation hardness; radiation effects on electronics; equipment reliability and availability; optical coatings and the cleaning of optical surfaces. Exchange of knowledge and best practice on IT technologies is also envisioned.