Wednesday, 16 February 2011

LOFAR Single-Station Meeting

On the 14th and 15th of February 2011, the latest LOFAR Single-Station meeting was held in Oxford in the United Kingdom, attended by over 20 LOFAR experts. The Single-Station meetings are an important part of the LOFAR programme. Instead of using the entire LOFAR telescope for observations, these meetings discuss what science can be achieved if the LOFAR stations work independently of the main array. They also discuss the technical issues and challenges of such experiments.

Although this mode of operation is not the standard long-baseline one, it is nevertheless an important part of the LOFAR programme, as it allows individual stations the opportunity to explore new ideas and to perform their own experiments. It also serves as a vital part of the undergraduate training, as students get an opportunity to use these huge telescope arrays for their learning.

KAIRA is a fantastic example of LOFAR hardware being used for local experiments. We gave a exposition of the work we are doing and helped promote our Finnish project. But other presentations were also of great interest to us. Issues such as pack-ice and snow drifts (Tautenburg), humidity in cold climates (Effelsberg) and new LOFAR stations (Hamburg, Aberystwyth and Birr Castle) have kept discussions active and lively. It was also great to see the best of the results from single-station facilities and the new data acquisition systems being developed by the group at Oxford University.

Our thanks go to the Oxford organising committee for hosting such an engaging and inspiring meeting and to Dell Computers for their support of the event.

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