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Visit to LOFAR core and Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope

Submitter: Sumit Kumar Jaiswal
Description: As part of the second edition of ASTRON/JIVE Traineeship in Science Operations with Massive Arrays, the four trainees (Benedicta Wode, Noah Chanka, Sumit Jaiswal, and Ziad Modak) visited the LOFAR core stations and Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) accompanied by Menno Norden as an instructor on 29 May, 2019. The trainees were exposed to the LOFAR Superterp stations where the instructor showed them the LBA and HBA design and configuration, and the receiver units. In addition, they were also exposed to the challenges in the operations and maintenance of the LOFAR stations and their individual elements.

The trainees were then taken to the WSRT site where they received information on the transition of WSRT into APERTIF, and the advantages of APERTIF in performing the HI line emission survey of galaxies, the search for Pulsars and Fast Radio Transients, and the radio continuum survey of galaxies over a large field of view. The VLBI operations and receiver system were also explained by the operator on duty Richard Blaauw.

This visit was extremely beneficial in visualizing the design and operation theory of LOFAR and APERTIF arrays in the real world. Last but not the least, the trainees were given a Dutch lunch in Exloo by the ASTRON SOS. Thanks to the Head of SOS, Dr. Roberto Pizzo for organizing this visit.
Copyright: ASTRON
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