LOFAR: The LOw-frequency ARray

Michael P van Haarlem, Michael W Wise, Andre Gunst, George Heald, John P McKean, Jason W T Hessels, A Ger de Bruyn, Ronald Nijboer, John D Swinbank, Richard A Fallows, Michiel A Brentjens, Anna Nelles, Rainer Beck, Heino Falcke, Rob Fender, Jorg R Horandel, Leon V E Koopmans, Gottfried Mann, George K Miley, Huub J A RottgeringBenjamin W Stappers, Ralph A M J Wijers, Saleem Zaroubi, Martin van den Akker, Anastasia Alexov, James M Anderson, Kenneth R Anderson, Arnold van Ardenne, Michel J Arts, Ashish Asgekar, Ian M Avruch, Fabien Batejat, Lars Bahren, Martin E Bell, Michael R Bell, Ilse van Bemmel, Peter Bennema, Mark J Bentum, Gianni Bernardi, Philip N Best, Laura Birzan, Annalisa Bonafede, Albert-Jan Boonstra, Robert Braun, Jaap D Bregman, Frank Breitling, Raymond H van den Brink, Jess W Broderick, P Chris Broekema, Wim N Brouw, Marcus Bruggen, Harvey Raymond Butcher, Wim A van Cappellen, Benedetta Ciardi, Thijs Coenen, John E Conway, Arthur Coolen, Arthur Corstanje, Sieds Damstra, O Davies, Adam Travis Deller, Ralf-Jurgen Dettmar, Ger van Diepen, Klass Dijkstra, Pieter Donker, Arie Doorduin, J Dromer, Marco Drost, Albert van Duin, Jochen Eisloffel, Joris van Enst, Chiara Ferrari, Wilfred Frieswijk, J A Hans Gankema, Michael A Garrett, Francesco de Gasperin, Marchel Gerbers, Eugene J de Geus, Jean-Mathias Griessmeier, Tuen Grit, Peter Gruppen, Johan Hamaker, Tom E Hassall, Matthias Hoeft, Hanno A Holties, Andreas Horneffer, Alexander J van der Horst, Andre van Houwelingen, Arie Huijgen, Marco Iacobelli, Huib T Intema, Neal J Jackson, Vibor Jelic, Alwin de Jong, Eva Jutte, G W Dion Kant, Aris Karastergiou, H U A Arjen Koers, Hans Kollen, Vlad I Kondratiev, Eric Kooistra, Yde J Koopman, Anne Koster, Masaya Kuniyoshi, Michael Kramer, Geert Kuper, Peter Panagiotis Lambropoulos, Casey J Law, Joeri van Leeuwen, Jerome Lemaitre, Marcel Loose, Peter Maat, Giulia Macario, Sera B Markoff, Joseph S Masters, Rebecca A McFadden, Derek McKay-Bukowski, Hopko Meijering, Henri Meulman, Maaijke Mevius, Enno Middelberg, Rob Millenaar, James C A Miller-Jones, Niruj Ramanujam Mohan, Jan David Mol, Juergen Morawietz, Raffaella Morganti, David Declan Mulcahy, Eim Mulder, Harm Munk, Lambert Nieuwenhuis, Rob V van Nieuwpoort, Jan E Noordam, Menno Norden, Aris Noutsos, Andre R Offringa, Hans Olofsson, Amitesh Omar, Emanuela Orru, Ruud Overeem, Harm Paas, Mamta Pommier, Vishambar N Pandey, Roberto Pizzo, Antonis Polatidis, David A Rafferty, Steven Rawlings, Wolfgang Reich, Jan-Pieter de Reijer, Jan Reitsma, G Adriaan Renting, Paul Riemers, Evert Rol, John W Romein, Jan Roosjen, Mark Ruiter, Anna Scaife, Kjeld van der Schaaf, Bart Scheers, Pim Schellart, Arno Schoenmakers, Gijs Schoonderbeek, Maciej Serylak, Alexander Shulevski, Jurjen Sluman, Oleg Smirnov, Charlotte Sobey, Hanno Spreeuw, Matthias Steinmetz, Cees G M Sterks, Harm Jan Stiepel, Klaas Stuurwold, Michel Tagger, Yuan Tang, Cyril Tasse, Ivan Thomas, Satyendra Thoudam, Maria Carmen Toribio, Bas van der Tol, Oleksander Usov, Martijn van Veelen, Alle-Jan van der Veen, Sander ter Veen, Joris P W Verbiest, Rene Vermeulen, Nico Vermaas, Christian Vocks, Corina Vogt, Marco de Vos, Erik van der Wal, Reinout van Weeren, Hans Weggemans, Patrick Weltevrede, Simon D M White, Stefan J Wijnholds, Tomas Wilhelmsson, Olaf Wucknitz, Sarod Yatawatta, Philippe Zarka, J Anton Zensus, Joris E van Zwieten

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Abstract

LOFAR, the LOw-Frequency ARray, is a new-generation radio interferometer constructed in the north of the Netherlands and across europe. Utilizing a novel phased-array design, LOFAR covers the largely unexplored low-frequency range from 10-240 MHz and provides a number of unique observing capabilities. Spreading out from a core located near the village of Exloo in the northeast of Netherlands, a total of 40 LOFAR stations are nearing completion. A further five stations have been deployed throughout Germany, and one station has been built in each of France, Sweden, and the UK. Digital beam-forming techniques make the LOFAR system agile and allow for rapid repointing of the telescope as well as the potential for multiple simultaneous observations. With its dense core array and long interferometric baselines, LOFAR achieves unparalleled sensitivity and angular resolution in the low-frequency radio regime. The LOFAR facilities are jointly operated by the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) foundation, as an observatory open to the global astronomical community. LOFAR is one of the first radio observatories to feature automated processing pipelines to deliver fully calibrated science products to its user community. LOFAR s new capabilities, techniques and modus operandi make it an important pathfinder for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). We give an overview of the LOFAR instrument, its major and software components, and the core science objectives that have driven its design. In addition, we present a selection of new results from the commissioning phase of this new radio observatory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 53
Number of pages53
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Volume556
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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