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The SKA Architecture Group steps out

Submitter: Jan Noordam
Description: Last week, as part of a drive for the SKA Architecture Group to "get out more", the newly formed SKA1_Low Architecture Team visited ASTRON for an informal technical visit. The main goal was to understand the status of LOFAR calibration in detail, and the implications for SKA1_Low. Also to understand the theory of LOFAR calibration, the actual experiences (e.g. solution properties), and computational issues.

In addition to presentations about the LOFAR experience, Stefan Wijnholds discussed the more general topic of calibratability of the new generation of giant radio telescopes. He stressed the danger that, even with perfect imaging and calibration software, the instrument will not allow us to reach the thermal noise level if the wrong design decisions are made. For instance if the PSF sidelobes are too high.

The picture shows Mark Waterson, Tim Cornwell and Maria Grazia Labate of the SKA Office, being shown one of the latest LOFAR images(*) by Ger de Bruyn, the leader of the LOFAR EoR group. All under the benign gaze of Jan Geralt bij de Vaate, the leader of the SKA LFAA and MFAA (Aperture Array) consortia, who hosted the visit.

(*) The deep LOFAR image of the North Polar Cap (NCP) was made by Sarod Yatawatta. It emphasizes the many faint foreground sources that have to be subtracted before the elusive Epoch of Reionization (EoR) can be studied.
Copyright: Madroon Community Consultants (MCC)
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