Commissioning Period & the LCCG

The  LOFAR Commissioning Coordination Group (LCCG) is tasked to coordinate the commissioning and software development of LOFAR with the objective of achieving an operational observatory. At the same time the LCCG will make sure that in this process quality data will be produced so that the LOFAR Key Science Projects will be able to start producing first results. The LCCG reports directly to the ILT Director, and thence to the ILT Board, and the ASTRON MT. The management structure is described in the figure below:

The LCCG provides quarterly reports to the ILT Board describing the progress made and the forward planning.

LCCG Report, January 2011

LCCG Report, March 2011

LCCG Report, June 2011

LCCG Report, September 2011


Various Commissioning Activities

A draft block schedule of the commissioning activities for the near future (in the form of "busy weeks" or other activities) is shown below.


Past and Planned Busy Weeks in 2013

14 - 18 Jan: Imaging Busy Week 16 (Leiden)

15 - 19 Apr: Imaging Busy Week 17 (Manchester)

15 - 16 May: Busy Days MKSP (Sant'Antioco)


Past and Planned Busy Weeks in 2012

09 Jan -13 Jan: TBB Busy Week (Dwingeloo)

23 Jan - 27 Jan: Cosmic Magnetism KSP Busy Week (Dwingeloo) 

30 Jan - 3 Feb: Imaging Busy Week (Meudon)

19 Mar - 23 Mar: Pulsar Busy Week #16 (Dwingeloo)

21 May - 25 May: Long Baseline Busy Week (Bonn)

25 Jun - 29 Jun: Imaging Busy Week (Garching)

09 Jul - 13 Jul : Pulsar Busy Week (Dwingeloo)




Past Busy Weeks in 2011


28 Feb - 04 Mar: Software Robustness Busy Week (Dwingeloo)

21 Mar - 25 Mar: Magnetism KSP Busy Week (Bonn)

28 Mar - 01 Apr: Imaging Busy Week (Dwingeloo)

11 Apr - 15 Apr: Pulsar Busy Week (Dwingeloo)

2  May -  6 May: Imaging Busy Week (Lorentz Center, Leiden)

6  Jun - 10 Jun: Magnestism Busy Week (Dwingeloo) 

20 Jun - 24 Jun: Pulsar Busy Week (Dwingeloo)

19 Sep - 23 Sep: IMAGER Busy Week (Dwingeloo)

26 Sep - 30 Sep: System Validation Busy Week (Dwingeloo) 

5   Dec - 9  Dec: Pulsar Busy Week (Dwingeloo)

23 Jan - 27 Jan: Cosmic Magnetism KSP Busy Week (Dwingeloo)


Applying for Busy Weeks

If you are interested to arrange a "Busy Week" please fill in the Busy Week Application Form (.doc file) (or PDF file) and send it to  or 


Use of offline computing resources 

I. Communication with the users

Since November 2011, an email exploder, lofarusers AT, has been setup, to desimminate useful as well as urgent information to all active commissioners.

Please note that the exploder is moderated.

Currently all commissioners with an account on the CEP-I and the CEP-II clusters are members of the list. If you feel that you need to be included in the email-exploder, pleasesend an email to polatidis AT and/or grit AT


II. The CEP-I Cluster

Thoroughout the commissioning period, LOFAR's offline computing resources in the CEP-I cluster are available to everyone participating in commissioning activities.

The current state of these resources (currently the compute nodes of the CEP-I cluster), and the procedure to request access to them is described at the relevant pages in the LOFAR wiki. 

Initially to enable parallel activities, these resources (6 of the 8 subclusters, with 2 spare) had been nominally assigned to groups with common interests, with the provision that the processing happens within these subclusters. This division has been relaxed in mid-2011, given the availability of CEP-II cluster for observations and initial processing.

Reconfiguration of the CEP-I cluster is underway since September 2011.

The overall plan calls for:

  • Common software with the CEP-II cluster [completed],
  • Configuration of the former storage nodes (LSE) to staging areas to the LOFAR Long Term Archive (LTA) [planned for Spring 2012]
  • A software test and build area consiting of some former compute nodes (Currently LCE068-LCE072) [Completed Nov 2011]
  • Provision of more disc space for the commissioners, as well as an area set for training purposes. [in progress]
  • Assignment of some former compute nodes to act as training are for new users/commissioners [in progress]
  • Implementation of a queing/booking system to allocate a certain number of nodes (and associated disk space)  to commissioners for specific (time limited) processing. [design phase - not expected before Autumn 2012]

Commissioners can still use the compute nodes with the current disk space (1TB per node).

Commissioners must coordinate their activities with the Science Support Group (sciencesupport AT, particularly when computing and disk-space instensive. 

Commissioners are urged to administer and conserve their own disk space, eg. by deleting intermediate producs as soon as possible, and by requesting of their data and final products to be transfered at the Long Term Archive(contact Science Support for the later). Please also note that micro-managing of individual accounts can not be done from central LOFAR Systems administration, and the only actions taken from there could effect in loss of important data. 

It should be noted that Science Support has the overal co-ordination for the monitoring and allocation of the computing resources within reason and with the benefit to the whole communiity in mind. While consideration is given to provide ample warning for impeding changes or actions (to the whole community of individual users), there will be cases that fast actions will be asked from commissioners. 

III. The CEP-II cluster

The CEP-II cluster is currently used for all observations and processing.

As such, access to it is limited to LOFAR operations.

A few experienced commissioners have been granted temporary access to CEP-II to facilitate testing of new software, observing modes and special processing needs.  

All commissiongin activities should be communicated and coordinated with Science Support. The Head of Science Support  has the overal authority to administer all commissioning activities in the CEP-II cluster.   

Design: Kuenst.    Development: Dripl.    © 2014 ASTRON