ASTRON has been judged as ‘excellent' by a high-level panel headed-up by Prof. C. Cesarsky. The institute was awarded top marks - a 5 or excellent - also defined as ‘research that is internationally leading'. The panel's findings are an important vindication of the path ASTRON has taken over the last five years - strengthening its fundamental research in astronomy, commissioning and operating front-line radio astronomy facilities, in particular the International LOFAR Telescope and the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope-APERTIF, and investing in the technical, scientific and political development of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Published by the editorial team, 18 July 2012

The panel agreed that ASTRON had practically re-invented radio astronomy over the last few years - with its novel approach to deploying aperture array technology on the ground as sparse and dense arrays, and at the focus of traditional paraboloids. It's a statement ASTRON is very happy to identify with, and we're looking forward to digesting the panel's written report and to start implementing any recommendations that might appear there.

Click here for the NWO press release (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) about the evaluations of all NWO institutes.


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On June 13-17, the LOFAR Family Meeting took place in Cologne. After two years LOFAR researchers could finally meet in person again. The meeting brings together LOFAR users and researchers to share new scientific results.

Our renewed ‘Melkwegpad’ (Milky Way Path) is finished! The new signs have texts in Dutch on the one side and in English on the other side. The signs concerning planets have a small, 3D printed model of that planet in their centre.
#Melkwegpad @RTVDrenthe

Daily image of the week

The background drawing shows how the subband correlator calculates the array correlation matrix. In the upper left the 4 UniBoard2s we used. The two ACM plots in the picture show that the phase differences of the visibilities vary from 0 to 360 degrees.

Daily image of the week: Testing with the Dwingeloo Test Station (DTS)
One of the key specifications of LOFAR2.0 is measuring using the low- and the highband antenna at the same time. For this measurement we used 9 lowband antenna and 3 HBA tiles.