Huub Röttgering, Peter Barthel,
George Miley, Raffaella Morganti, Ignas Snellen.
LOFAR, the Low
Frequency Array, is a next-generation radio telescope that is being built in
and expected to be fully operational at the end of this decade. It will operate at frequencies from 15 to 240
MHz (corresponding to wavelengths of 20 to 1.2 m). Its superb sensitivity, high
angular resolution, large field of view and flexible spectroscopic capabilities
will represent a dramatic improvement over previous facilities at these
wavelengths. As such, LOFAR will carry out a broad range of fundamental
astrophysical studies and will be an important vehicle for astronomical
research in the Netherlands.
An important goal that
has driven the development of LOFAR since its inception is to explore the
low-frequency radio sky by means of a series of unique surveys. We are planning
to exploit the unprecedented sensitivity and wide instantaneous field of LOFAR
to conduct large-sky surveys at 15, 30, 60, 120 and 200 MHz. Such surveys should start in 2009, when the
100 km LOFAR should become operational.
Four topics are
driving the definition of the proposed surveys. These are:
of massive galaxies, clusters and black holes using z> 6 radio galaxies
- Intercluster magnetic fields using diffuse
radio emission in galaxy clusters as probes,
formation processes in the early Universe using starburst galaxies as
of new parameter space for serendipitous discovery.
A survey science team
consisting of about 20 members has been setup. Its task it is to:
- provide input for planning the surveys and subsequent
- plan preparatory/follow-up observations,
- carry out
- be involved in / take
the lead in one of the science areas.
We are planning to
have a first meeting of this team at the Lorentz Center
March 6-8, 2007.
take about 60 % of the time leaving ample time for discussions too. These
discussions will focus on:
the current set of survey cater for our needs?
scientific topics do need more input?
do we get organised?
we plan/prioritize the various surveys/fields/frequencies?
needs to be done as preparatory and follow-up observations?