The SKA PAthfinder Radio Continuum Survey (SPARCS) Working Group was initially proposed during the SKA meeting in Manchester in 2010 March, was formed in 2010 May, and held its first meeting at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, The Netherlands, in 2011 February. The objective of SPARCS is to address the many technical challenges posed by the various planned SKA pathfinder and precursor survey instruments.
The goals are;

  • To coordinate developments of techniques, to avoid duplication of effort and ensure that each project has access to best practice.
  • To hold cross-project discussions of the specific scientific goals, to ensure cross-fertilisation of ideas and optimum survey strategies.
  • To coordinate the surveys in their choice of area, depth, location on the sky, and other survey parameters, to maximise the scientific return from the surveys.
  • To distil the SKA pathfinder experiences in order to provide the most relevant and up to date input for SKA planning.