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The LOFAR superterp from the air

Submitter: Peter Bennema, Jan Noordam
Description: The central part of the LOFAR core near Exloo, the Netherlands, is the socalled "Super Terp". This is an elevated area with a diameter of 300m, circled by a watery "moat", on which the highest density of LOFAR stations (LBA and HBA) will be situated.

A "terp" is the name for a man-made hill in the low-lying areas of Friesland, on which farms and small villages were placed for more than a thousand years, to safeguard them from the encroaching sea. Their composition of accumulated cow-dung makes them virtually indestructible.

Note that the size of this inner core of LOFAR is as large as the Arecibo telescope, the largest single dish telescope in the world (until the 500m FAST telescope is built in China in 2010).

The entire LOFAR core has a diameter of 3km. It will contain some tens of smaller terps, interspersed with a glorious nature area with lots of water. Each terp will hold an LBA station, and two HBA stations. For a map of the core, see the picture of 8 Sept. Beyond the core, more remote LOFAR stations will be placed at increasing distance from the core, eventually out to thousands of km.

The photo was taken with the help of a small balloon, from an altitude of about 500m. More of these pictures will be published on this spot as LOFAR is being "rolled out" in 2009.
Copyright: ASTRON, LOFAR
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