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The '2nd LOFAR Users Meeting' and the '2015 LOFAR Science Workshop'

Submitter: Roberto Pizzo
Description: The 2nd LOFAR Users Meeting and the 2015 LOFAR Community Science Collaboration Workshop took place in Assen on June 1-3, 2015. The meetings brought together almost 100 members of the LOFAR science community.

The Users Meeting - held on Monday afternoon, June 1- was open to the whole LOFAR community and provided a forum for users to both learn about the status of the array as well as give feedback. Members of the Radio Observatory gave updates on the current operational status, ongoing developments, and plans for the coming year. Among the important enhancements introduced in the system, the addition of new international stations to the array, the introduction of new software pipelines into the operational system, and new techniques to improve the quality of LOFAR images were overviewed. Representative users from the community were also invited to share their personal experiences from using the system. The Radio Observatory answered questions and gathered a lot of good feedback that will be used to improve the user experience. The final session of the meeting was dedicated to discussing options for improvements / extensions / upgrades to LOFAR in the coming years.

The Users Meeting was followed on Tuesday by a two day LOFAR Community Science Workshop where members of the LOFAR collaboration presented their latest science results and shared ideas and experiences about doing science with LOFAR. The science workshop program covered the gamut of the LOFAR science case from cosmology and extragalactic research to Galactic and solar system topics. An amazing range of results were presented including new record-breaking sub-arc imaging with LOFARs international baselines, the low-band image of Virgo A, the most precise and probably most accurate Cosmic Rays composition measurements, and the large scale Galactic emission in both total intensity and polarisation.

All these achievements clearly show that LOFAR remains a growing and scientifically exciting instrument with an active scientific user community. The science workshop picture is shown here.
Copyright: ASTRON
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