Science with the
Low Frequency Array
Lorentz Center, Leiden – 21-25 January 2002
Organizers: Michiel van Haarlem (ASTRON, Dwingeloo), firstname.lastname@example.org
and Huub Röttgering (Sterrewacht Leiden), email@example.com
Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) is a radio telescope that will operate at the
lowest frequencies that are accessible from earth. It is being developed by
ASTRON, based in Dwingeloo (the Netherlands), the Naval Research Laboratory in
Washington DC (USA) and MIT’s Haystack Observatory (USA). LOFAR's
goal is to open a new, high-resolution window on the electromagnetic spectrum
from ~10–250 MHz (corresponding to wavelengths of 1.5–30 m).
The five key areas of science to be addressed by LOFAR
The High Redshift Universe: the study of the most distant radio galaxies and quasars
The Epoch of Reionization: detection of the global signature, and mapping of structures
Mapping Galactic Cosmic Rays: to map the 3D distribution of the Galactic cosmic ray electron gas
The Bursting and Transient Universe: to detect short lived transient events – bursts from
Jupiter-like planets, merging and interacting compact objects.
Solar-Terrestrial Relationships: to detect Coronal Mass Ejections possibly in
combination with a Solar Radar, and to study the Earth’s Ionosphere.
from the five main topics listed above that will drive the design, LOFAR will
have considerable applications to other fields of astronomy including the
detection and study of galaxy cluster halos and their magnetic fields, the
detection of fossil radio galaxies, the study of supernova remnants and their
interaction with the interstellar medium, interstellar propagation effects,
interstellar radio recombination lines and the detection and monitoring of
pulsars and extrasolar planets. In addition, there will be applications in
other fields e.g. atmospheric science.
A more detailed description of the instrument as well as these topics
can be found at the LOFAR web site: www.lofar.nl.
will be the first of a new generation of radio telescopes based on the
principle of phased arrays. The absence of moving parts and digital nature of
the instrument mean that it will be operated in a way that differs profoundly
from current instruments. Novel aspects such as independent multi-beaming and
rapid pointing of the telescope require the development of new operational
modes. This workshop is intended as a kick-off for the definition of the formal
user requirements. Discussions during this workshop will focus on those aspects
of the design of the instrument that are of interest to potential users. These
and data processing,
interaction with the telescope and processing infrastructure