The Earth receives its life-sustaining energy from Sunlight, but “explosions” on the Sun can also be life-threatening. Explosions on the Sun’s surface, called flares, can spew out large masses of plasma and harmful radiation towards the planets.
In order to receive radio signals from across the Universe, LOFAR needs to be very sensitive. The downside of that sensitivity is susceptibility to radio interference: other sources that produce radio signals that LOFAR detects, but does not want to measure.
In the LOFAR radio telescope, the observation data is synchronized over time for accurate processing of the received signals. Until now, the telescope uses GPS techniques to synchronize the observation data, achieving an accuracy between 1 ns and 10 ns.
If the antennae of LOFAR are the senses of the radio telescope, then the central correlator is its brain. It is the place where all the data streams come together and are converted into astronomy data.