A team of LOFAR-UK scientists went to Chilbolton this Tuesday to try to build some LBAs (low band antennas) on site. In the end we put up four antennas in two teams of four. Here's the team behind one of the finished antennas (note for this test we did not use the ground sheets, nor are the antennas at the final LOFAR location - they are instead on the test range - much closer to the main buildings).
[from left to right: Gordon Brown (STFC); Hana Schumacher and Bob Nichol (Portsmouth); Griffin Foster, Sascha Schediwy and Alejo Martinez-Sansigre (Oxford); Martin Bell (Southampton); Mike Willis (STFC); Anne Stanford (Portsmouth); Judith Croston (Southampton); Derek McKay (STFC); Me (Portsmouth); and Owain Davies (STFC)]
Here's a picture of all 4 antennas we built.
Here's one of the teams finishing off an antenna while I talk to a BBC Radio Solent reporter in the background (more in that soon hopefully).
We were able to connect up one of the antennas to check the signal - in effect getting "first light", at least from a single LOFAR antenna at the Chilbolton site. It was an exciting moment for us as you can see.
And here's what we were looking at!
(thanks to Judith Croston for most of the pictures I posted here today).