A waterfall of exciting developments, that’s how I would characterize the last three months: The LOFAR2.0 Test Station (L2TS) works like a charm, L2TS data is arriving at COBALT, the first pulsar has been observed, all timing distributor hardware has been delivered, we can control the L2TS through TMSS, and so on.
I want to start by giving a warm welcome to team Ruby. From January 2023, the LOFAR software development teams Red and Gold merged into the new sparkling team Ruby. In team Ruby, software developers from ASTRON, INAF, GLOW, and soon also FLOW, collaborate on new software for LOFAR.
Fantastic news! The ILT Board approved the purchase of LOFAR2.0 hardware for 52 of the 54 stations (including BG and IT) plus spare parts. The ILT Board also agreed to collaboratively purchase hardware for the remaining two stations such that they can be upgraded as soon as funding is in place.
For many people, summer is a time to relax, and I hope you managed to have a break as well. We had very dry and hot weather during the holiday season in the Netherlands. While most of us were desperately trying to keep the heads cool, some of us were bravely verifying the LOFAR2.0 design with the Dwingeloo Test Station.
LOFAR2.0 is getting its final shape and the new station hardware is now tangible. In May we celebrated the inauguration of the Dwingeloo test station (DTS). As you will see from the contributions in this Newsletter, the first test results of the DTS are very encouraging!
It's a beautiful time. The covid measures have been released, enabling us to meet each other in person much more frequently at the office. It's great to have these spontaneous conversations with colleagues again, giving new energy and inspiration.
The last two months we have celebrated many successes: The first prototype subrack is flashing in the lab, the LOFAR4SW project reached the Critical Design Review (CDR), and the first dynamic spectrum with the new LBA RCU was observed, using software delivered by the Station Control team. Well done!
I hope you had a good and relaxing summertime. The Timing Distributor team definitely did not relax and managed to pass the Critical Design Review (CDR) in August! Congratulations to all who contributed to this success!
Over the last couple of weeks, I had several discussions with astronomers on future instrumentation. It is great news that green light has been given for the construction of the SKA, which will provide new and unparalleled capabilities to the science community.
Welcome to the May 2021 edition of the LOFAR2.0 Newsletter in which we share recent highlights of the LOFAR2.0 development. My highlight for this edition is that the ILT Board approved the outcome of the LOFAR2.0 down scope, bringing our ambitions and our resources back in balance.
Voila, here is the first LOFAR2.0 newsletter of 2021! It promises to be an exciting year for LOFAR2.0: In the Dwingeloo Test Stations (DTS) the LOFAR2.0 hardware, firmware and software will be linked together, and tested in the field for the first time.
As very briefly announced in the previous Newsletter, an important milestone has been passed: Congratulations to the Station and Timing Distributor team for passing the Preliminary Design Review (PDR)!
LOFAR2.0 is now in full swing: An enormous amount of work has been delivered over the last couple of months. A lot of work went into the preparation of the Station and Timing Distributor (TD) PDR and the LOFAR4SW mid-term review this week.