LOFAR, the Low Frequency Array, is a multi-purpose sensor array. Its main application is astronomy at low frequencies (10-240 MHz) which is described at the present site. LOFAR has also applications in Geophysics and Agriculture, which are described at http://www.lofar.org/.
For the astronomy application LOFAR consists of an interferometric array of dipole antenna stations distributed throughout the Netherlands and in several countries in Europe. These stations have no moving parts and due to the all-sky coverage of the component dipoles, give LOFAR a large field-of-view.
At station level the signals from individual dipoles are combined digitally into a phased array. Electronic beam-forming techniques make the system agile and allow for rapid repointing of the telescope as well as simultaneous observations of multiple, independent areas of the sky.
There are two distinct antennae types: the Low Band Antennas (LBA) operating between 10 and 90 MHz and the High Band Antennas (HBA) operating between 110 and 250 MHz. The antennas are organised in aperture array stations.
For practical and technical information on how to apply for LOFAR observations and data access and the use of the instrument, please visit the Radio Observatory pages.
LOFAR is opening new observational windows on the Universe and making a large number of new science projects possible. You can find a description of the Key Science Projects and of more LOFAR science/links at this page.