AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 153 Computation, Data Handling, Image Analysis
Poster, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[153.08] LOFAR - The New Eye for the Low-Frequency Universe

D.M. Salter, J-P. Paardekooper (Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands), H.J.A. Röttgering (Leiden Observatory, Leiden, Netherlands), L. Bähren, M. Brentjens, H. Falcke, S. Wijnholds (ASTRON, Dwingeloo, Netherlands)

The Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) is the first in the next generation of digital radio telescopes making strides in the Netherlands at ~ 10 to 240 MHz (30 to 1.2 m). The LOFAR initial test station (ITS) represents the first prototype in the setup of a LOFAR station; it is comprised of 60 inverted-V dipole antennae operating at 10 to 35 MHz. With 45 additional stations similar to ITS planned and separated by a maximum baseline of 100 kilometers, LOFAR will achieve near arc second resolution by the year 2008. Here we report on the achievements of ITS, including: some of the first all-sky images, spectral index mapping of the galactic plane, the response and sensitivity functions of operating in a phase-array mode, as well as details on the software development aimed at maximizing the flexibility of managing, calibrating, processing and distributing the radio data collected by the array. Due to its design as a wide-area sensor network, LOFAR will provide an unprecedented platform for research in several interdisciplinary fields and it will be open to the international community of scientists, educators and students with its Internet accessible data repositories and designated educational programs.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.