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First fringes with Cobalt

Submitter: Michiel Brentjens
Description: Past Friday, between 10:35:00 and 10:40:00 UTC, LOFAR's next generation correlator, Cobalt, achieved first fringes on 3C 295. The plot show the fringes (the wavy patterns on the top left and top right) as well as delay-rate spectra for the 55 km long baseline between CS002HBA0 and RS509HBA at 115 MHz. Cobalt was listening to live data from all Dutch LOFAR stations. These fringes look good. The residual delay error is still way too big, but less than 1.3 micro-seconds (or 390 m). How much less exactly needs some extra work.

This result shows that:
- Cobalt can in fact correlate live LOFAR data (All Dutch stations except RS306 and RS508 participated in the observation)
- The coarse delay compensation is applied with the correct sign

This observation was prepared in MoM, scheduled using the standard LOFAR Scheduler, picked up and started by SAS/MAC, and had automatic inspection plots being created immediately after the observation finished. This observation used a very limited data rate to CEP2. The entire Cobalt team is very happy right now.
Copyright: (c) Astron 2013
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