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Three new LOFAR stations will connect to the ILT on 1 January 2016

Submitter: Rob van der Meer
Description: On Saturday 3 October 2015 the station contract between the International LOFAR Telescope Foundation (ILT) and the three new Polish stations was signed in a special(dedicated) ceremony at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland (UWM). During the two hour meeting, which was followed by a tasty light lunch buffet, there were several presentations on the reason for this meeting and about the road towards this meeting. Prof. Katarzyna Otmianowska-Mazur and Prof. Andrzej Krankowski opened the meeting by introducing all the guests, including:
  • The Rector of the hosting university and many professors
  • The president of Olsztyn and other municipal authorities
  • Members of the POLFAR consortium
  • Companies that contributed to the realization of the stations
  • Representatives from ILT/ASTRON/AstroTec
The minister of Science and Higher Education, which supports the construction and operation of the LOFAR stations in Poland, submitted a letter of support to emphasize the importance for the Polish science community to become member of the ILT.

The last presentation before the actual signing was necessary because of the legal construction around POLFAR, POLFARO, UWM and ILT. Most people in the audience would never see the contract, so the agreement was shortly explained:
  • The Polish LOFAR community is organized in POLFAR. Within this consortium of universities and research institutes, the three LOFAR station owners are collaborating in a working group, POLFARO. The legal representative of POLFARO is the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. ILT signed the contract not with the individual station owners, as was done in Germany, but with POLFARO.
  • The agreement is for five years, starting on 1 January 2016, and described details on signal data transfer, data ownership and data rights, and the annual contribution from POLFARO to ILT, which is partly an in-kind contribution in the form of a Long Term Archive of 2 petabyte of data per year.
This is graphically explained in the large image.

Following the explanation, the Rector Magnificus of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Prof. Ryszard Gorecki (right) and the director of the International LOFAR Telescop (ILT), Dr Rene Vermeulen (left), signed the contract and showed the signed contracts to the guests and the press.

More information on the three LOFAR stations in Poland and ILT is in the press release sent out when the contract for construction of the three Polish stations was signed in June 2014.
This video from the Olsztyn TV shows the signing event and background information.
Copyright: Rob van der Meer, Ronald Halfwerk
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