By Wim van Cappellen
LOFAR uses two types of antennas. Each type listens to different wavelengths of the radio spectrum. Different wavelengths provide complementary information about the Universe and its constituents.
Currently, LOFAR can use only one type of antenna at the same time. In 2022 the digital brains of LOFAR are upgraded to simultaneously observe with both types of antennas. New pioneering astrophysical research will be possible using the absolute lowest radio frequencies visible from Earth. With this new system, the northern sky can be surveyed > 100x more sensitive and at > 5x higher-resolution compared to any previous or planned survey at these exceptionally long wavelengths.
The two types of antennas LOFAR uses, Low Band Antenna (LBA), left and High Band Antenna (HBA), right. Credit: ASTRON