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Proceedings Paper

LOFAR, the low frequency array
Author(s): R. C. Vermeulen
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Paper Abstract

LOFAR, the Low Frequency Array, is a next-generation radio telescope designed by ASTRON, with antenna stations concentrated in the north of the Netherlands and currently spread into Germany, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom; plans for more LOFAR stations exist in several other countries. Utilizing a novel, phased-array design, LOFAR is optimized for the largely unexplored low frequency range between 30 and 240 MHz. Digital beam-forming techniques make the LOFAR system agile and allow for rapid re-pointing of the telescopes as well as the potential for multiple simultaneous observations. Processing (e.g. cross-correlation) takes place in the LOFAR BlueGene/P supercomputer, and associated post-processing facilities. With its dense core (inner few km) array and long (more than 1000 km) interferometric baselines, LOFAR reaches unparalleled sensitivity and resolution in the low frequency radio regime. The International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) is now issuing its first call for observing projects that will be peer reviewed and selected for observing starting in December. Part of the allocations will be made on the basis of a fully Open Skies policy; there are also reserved fractions assigned by national consortia in return for contributions from their country to the ILT. In this invited talk, the gradually expanding complement of operationally verified observing modes and capabilities are reviewed, and some of the exciting first astronomical results are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84442B (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.928196
Show Author Affiliations
R. C. Vermeulen, ASTRON (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8444:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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