WHAT IS LOFAR?


LOFAR is the Low Frequency Array.

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Authors: Angel Dimitrov, Evelina Zaharieva, Ventsislav Dimitrov, Mariana Djordjevic, Kaloyan Kirilov

Over the last century, our knowledge about the Universe is being constantly augmented by astronomical observations in the visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light. One part of the electromagnetic spectrum, however, remains relatively weakly explored – the low-frequency radio wavelengths.

LOFAR is a multi-functional, highly innovative, pan-European distributed low-frequency radio telescope, operating between 10 and 250 MHz. It was developed by the Dutch Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) with the goal of exploring the early, distant Universe, solar activity, and the terrestrial atmosphere.

Geographical distribution of the existing LOFAR stations in Europe. Source: ASTRON

LOFAR is comprised of a large number of innovative observing stations throughout the Netherlands and parts of Europe, each consisting of phased arrays of dipole antennas, connected via fast optical fibres.