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Assembly instructions for a LOFAR station

Submitter: Pieter Benthem
Description: Over the last few years, LOFAR stations have become a successful export product. More and more scientific institutes in more and more countries crave them, to partake in the dizzy adventure of exploring the sky in a truly European fashion. Of course, they are also pretty cool backyard items, and excellent value for money.

As our experience grows, we get ever better at packaging things in such a way that the new owners can roll out their station with a minimum of fuss. One of our Finnish friends was so impressed that he created these IKEA-like assembly instructions. His kind gesture was much appreciated by the ASTRON Family Service Division (AFSD).

The exported LOFAR stations can be used stand-alone, but also as part of an ever-growing fibre-linked array that is centered on the superterp in Exloo (NL). They represent long baselines that allow observations with very high spatial resolution (1" for a baseline of 400km, @150MHz). These baselines can be made extra sensitive by using the entire LOFAR core as a single station. Among other things, such long baselines give LOFAR an important advantage in the ability to remove the many foreground sources that obscure the elusive Epoch of Reionization (EoR).
Copyright: Derek McKay-Bukowski
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