Research & Innovation

Radio telescopes are used to observe our universe and to provide astronomers with detailed images and spectra. We use antenna technology to receive radio signals from the universe. There are different types of antennas: dishes like the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT), and dipoles like the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR). We require many antennas to get the sharpest images from very weak signals. Combining the signals from all antennas is called interferometry and requires electronic boards, photonic links, supercomputers and a lot of algorithms and software.

Compact Receivers

Receiver systems in radio astronomy consist of a number of components, starting with the antenna, via a number of discrete electronic components to the digital electronic boards.

High Performance Computing

A radio telescope produces a data stream for each antenna. Since we use up to hundreds of thousands of antennas, these data streams are processed in parallel.

Calibration and Imaging

Several data processing steps are necessary before data from a radio telescope such as LOFAR can be turned into a scientific image of the sky.

Science Data Centre

The SKA will generate more data than we have processed and analysed ever before. To make this possible, innovation in hardware, software and expertise is crucial.

Latest tweets

Daily image of the week

On June 13-17, the LOFAR Family Meeting took place in Cologne. After two years LOFAR researchers could finally meet in person again. The meeting brings together LOFAR users and researchers to share new scientific results.

Our renewed ‘Melkwegpad’ (Milky Way Path) is finished! The new signs have texts in Dutch on the one side and in English on the other side. The signs concerning planets have a small, 3D printed model of that planet in their centre.
#Melkwegpad @RTVDrenthe

Daily image of the week

The background drawing shows how the subband correlator calculates the array correlation matrix. In the upper left the 4 UniBoard2s we used. The two ACM plots in the picture show that the phase differences of the visibilities vary from 0 to 360 degrees.

Daily image of the week: Testing with the Dwingeloo Test Station (DTS)
One of the key specifications of LOFAR2.0 is measuring using the low- and the highband antenna at the same time. For this measurement we used 9 lowband antenna and 3 HBA tiles.