LOFAR will enter its first operational phase in December 2012, following a period of commissioning.
Software and instrumental development and commissioning are coordinated to provide a first set of observing and data analysis functionality available to the telescope users.
This is collectively called "LOFAR Version 1.0". Detailed information on the current performance of the telescope is given for various modes in the "In depth Technical Information" section. This information will be updated on September 1st, 2012, this will be the baseline performance to which regular proposals for Cycle 0 should refer.
LOFAR "Version 1.0" will provide a stable, robust system that enables:
1) the specification, planning, managing, and automatic execution of imaging observations using the Standard Imaging Pipeline in the post-processing cluster up to and including producing initial images.
2) the specification, planning, managing, and automatic execution of beam formed observations up to and including processing on the BG/P.
Starting the ‘known pulsar’ pipeline will be provided as an Expert Mode, and will involve significant interaction with the Science Support Group.
Four tied array modes will be supported: Coherent Stokes, Incoherent Stokes, Complex Voltages and Fly's Eye mode.
3) an initial Long Term Archive that supports:
a) ingesting imaging data products (visibilities and images) and Beam Formed data products (complex voltages, coherent and incoherent stokes, fly's eye mode).
b) A search and retrieve function for LTA data products.
Observing will be in the LBA and in the HBA frequency ranges.
Using the 160 MHz clock will require special effort and will lead to schedulng constraints on observing between 190 MHz and 210 MHz.
Any subset of stations can be used, but the excluded stations are not available for any other work (there is no sub-array capability).
In Imaging mode observing with up to 8 independent beams will be supported.
In Beam Formed mode observing with up to 127 pencil beams will be supported.