The LOFAR-BG infrastructure project, coordinated by the Institute of astronomy and National Astronomical Observatory (IANAO), was recently approved for inclusion into the updated National Roadmap for Scientific Infrastructure 2021-2027! We are very pleased with this successful outcome.
In the next 13 years, the project execution foresees the building and development of a Bulgarian observational station of the pan-European distributed LOFAR radio telescope, and the creation of human potential for carrying out specific astrophysical and geophysical research with the Bulgarian station and the entire LOFAR telescope.
In addition, the successful execution of this project will guarantee the development of scientific and engineering potential, of the capability for hardware and software maintenance of the LOFAR-BG station, of capability for processing and archiving of petabyte-scale volumes of observational data, and of new automated analysis methodologies via Artificial Intellect. The project foresees active partnerships and exchange of know-how with industry, as well as dissemination and outreach activities.
The LOFAR-BG station will position Bulgaria at the top of radioastronomical observing capabilities in Southeastern Europe. Maintaining and enriching further this unique research infrastructure will enable the development of innovative scientific and engineering topics in ICT (real-time signal processing, time series and image analysis with AI, data clustering and archiving), as well as transfer of scientific and technological know-how from international collaborations. An additional goal of the project is creation of spin-off companies in radio communications and ICT.