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We are proud to present a new edition of the LOFAR Development Newsletter. A lot is happening right now, so this edition is fully packed with good stuff!
The development of LOFAR2.0 is nearing completion and our focus is now almost fully on verification and validation of the design (only the software development continues). The hardware components for LOFAR2.0 have been purchased and we are waiting for the delivery of the first batch of electronics by early 2024. In the meantime, the second phase of the LOFAR2.0 test station will be ready for field testing in June. In this second phase, all LBA and HBA antennas will be connected, allowing us to test the LOFAR2.0 design at its full capacity. In the meantime, dynamic scheduling is introduced in LOFAR. It allows to optimize the telescope’s time on sky and reduces the effort to operate the telescope. Thanks to the dynamic scheduling, less time is needed for operators to set up the observation program, and the telescope can respond more agile and with less manual work to unforeseen events like windmill stand-still time, station availability and ionospheric conditions.
Work has also started on the technical specifications to replace the Central Systems in Groningen (CEP4, COBALT2 and the network infrastructure). Apart from the technical challenges, one of the biggest puzzles is to align the CEP upgrade with cycle 20 observations and the LOFAR2.0 commissioning. More on this topic in future editions of this Newsletter.
Wim van Cappellen