|Description:|| Apertif is ours now!|
The Apertif system, which has been developed, built and commissioned over the last couple of years by ASTRON, was formally taken into operation and handed over to its Radio Observatory division on Tuesday June 4th.
During a plenary meeting, the Apertif science teams, represented by Betsey Adams and Joeri van Leeuwen, presented the latest science results and their outlook, expectations and plans for the coming one and a half year of Apertif surveys. On behalf of the Radio Observatory, Emanuela Orru’, as Head of Apertif Technical Operations, presented the operational plans for using this novel instrument to its full potential for science.
After the presentations, the Apertif project leader, Agnes Mika, formally handed over the instrument to Roberto Pizzo, head of Science Operations and Support of the Radio Observatory, who gracefully and willingly accepted the Apertif antenna element offered to him as a symbol of the whole installation. This event marked the end of the Apertif development phase and the beginning of the Apertif operational phase at the WSRT site.
Many people have contributed to the realization of Apertif and made possible that this event took place. The list is too long to be mentioned here but be assured that each and everyone of them has played a crucial role during the journey from conception to operations.
The Apertif surveys will start on July 1st and continue at least until the end of 2020. We are confident that many more Daily Images will be published during that period, showing the important science results of this unique instrument.