ASTROCENT is a new research unit at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences (CAMK), formally established as the third department of the Center. International Research Agenda ``AstroCeNT: Science and Technology Center in Particle Astrophysics” started on the 1st of July 2018, following an award of nearly 38 million PLN (for five years) from the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP). An application for the IRA AstroCeNT was submitted by Professor Leszek Roszkowski (CAMK and the National Center for Nuclear Research) as primary applicant and Professor Tomasz Bulik (CAMK and Warsaw University) as a co-applicant in the second open competition in the IRA Programme conducted by FNP within the framework of the Smart Growth Operational Programme.

Research at AstroCeNT will be focused primarily on the detection of gravitational waves and dark matter by using the advanced technological instruments. Their development will be among prime areas of activity of the new unit. In particular, the Center will specialize in R&D on ultra-sensitive instruments for low background and low count rate particle astrophysics experiments, primarily, but not exclusively, in:

☀ modules of silicon photomultipliers for dark matter search experiments DarkSide and Global Argon Dark Matter, and

☀ seismic sensor systems for further stages of Advanced Virgo/Ligo and for the planned Einstein Telescope gravitational wave detection experiments.

At the same time it is envisaged that Astrocent will also engage in developing potential applications of its research results in hi-tech industry and medicine.

In the first instance, Astrocent will comprise a minimum of 6 international research groups of physicists and engineers specializing in:

  • particle astrophysics group (leader: Professor Leszek Roszkowski);
  • gravitational wave and seismic sensor group (leader: Professor Tomasz Bulik);
  • silicon photomultiplier modules group;
  • electronics group;
  • big data acquisition and processing group;
  • IT programming group.

Expansion to the other activities in the field of particle astrophysics will be considered in the near future. In about 2 years the Center is expected to reach the size of about 40 researchers, including group leaders, their teams, PhD students, students and trainees.

AstroCeNT's labs and offices are located in the Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer Management on the main campus of the Warsaw University of Technology. Astrocent is led by Professor Leszek Roszkowski.


AstroCeNT web page.