Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Postdoc position in LOFAR long-baseline development and implementation (Bonn)

Another LOFAR related postdoc position advertised this week - this one in Bonn. Text below taken direct from the job advert.

Postdoc position in LOFAR long-baseline development and implementation (Bonn)

LOFAR is an innovative, low-frequency, multi-station aperture array telescope that is using new technologies and novel software approaches. LOFAR has entered its commissioning phase and started producing unique data in the relatively unexplored spectral window below 200 MHz.

The Argelander-Institute for Astronomy at the University of Bonn is offering a (max.) three-year postdoc/software developer position for long-baseline calibration development and implementation to start as soon as possible. The international baselines of LOFAR require special calibration schemes that are not fully included in the general calibration pipeline, yet. Sophisticated fringe-fitting methods that take into account the special polarisation properties of the system have to be developed for this purpose. Current algorithms have to be extended and added to the calibration pipeline.
Long-baseline commissioning is continuously making progress,


Contributing to these efforts will be part of the project. Despite the emphasis of technical development work, unique science projects will be possible as well. Particularly the long baselines of LOFAR are probing an entirely new parameter space with many important discoveries to be expected. LOFAR has already improved the resolution of low-frequency VLBI imaging by an order of magnitude. Appointees are expected to spend 50% of their time on astronomical research (which would preferably be related to LOFAR) and 50% on development work.

Relevant qualifications are experience in radio interferometry beyond the bare user level, particularly on very long baselines, a mathematical understanding of the methods involved, and programming expertise. This experience should generally be proven by a PhD in astronomy, physics or another relevant field, even though a Master's degree may be sufficient in particular cases. The ability to work independently but in cooperation with an international team of astronomers and developers, as well as excellent communication skills and a good command of the English language are essential.

Applications (preferably by email) should include a CV, a statement of interests and experience, the prefered starting date, and three letters of reference. Applicants of any nationality are eligible to apply. The University of Bonn is an equal opportunities employer. Deadline for full consideration is 15 October 2011. Applications may still be accepted until the position is filled.

The remuneration is based on a public pay scale (generally TV-L/E13) and subject to age and experience. Comprehensive benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, parental leave, and social security benefits (contributions to unemployment and health insurance as well as retirement scheme).

This project is part of wider LOFAR efforts by a consortium of astronomical institutes in Germany. Positions in other fields (to be announced on the AAS job register in September) are available as well. Applicants who would like to have their application considered also for other locations should state this in the cover letter.

More information is available on request.

Dr. Olaf Wucknitz
Argelander-Institute for Astronomy
Auf dem Huegel 71
53121 Bonn


Monday, July 25, 2011

LOFAR related Postdoc Position at ICG, Portsmouth

The University of Portsmouth's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) is advertising a postdoctoral position for
Development of software to incorporate the international baselines of the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) into the LOFAR core array pipeline and data reduction framework. 
For more details see the job advert.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blogging about installing a LOFAR Station

From the hit counts last summer we know that the reports here describing the installation of the LOFAR station at Chilbolton were very popular. If you miss those posts  you have two options

(1) revisit them using the tag installation

(2) relive this experience with a different station this summer as the KAIRA blog reports on the installation of the LOFAR station in Finland (also follow @KairaProject and @EISCAT_3D on Twitter for updates).

Edited to add option (3) which is to look at the pictures/blog posts about the installation of Swedish LOFARTack så mycket to Swedish LOFAR Tweeters @OnsalaRymd for reminding me about that.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

LOFAR-UK Data School

The 76-m Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank
Credit: A.Holloway, University of Manchester
LOFAR-UK is organising a LOFAR data school, which will take place from 30 August-1 September 2011 at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, located in the Alan Turing Building, University of Manchester.

The aim of the data school is to introduce interested astronomers to the techniques that are needed to interact successfully with LOFAR data, especially those from long baselines. Due to venue capacity, numbers will be limited to 25, on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is free for participants from any LOFAR-UK institution; for others a small charge of 50 pounds will be made for provision of coffee/tea and lunches during the meeting.

For more information, and to register for the meeting, please see

Monday, July 4, 2011

First Science with LOFAR

In September, ASTRON are hosting a workshop on "First Science from LOFAR". Scientists interested in attending should visit the workshop website.

Friday, July 1, 2011

LOFAR-UK Becomes a Full Member of the International LOFAR Telescope

At a recent meeting of the management of the Internatonal LOFAR Telescope, LOFAR-UK and STFC  signed the contract which governs the running the Chilbolton LOFAR Station (UK608) for 5 years and the transfer of data to The Netherlands for use in ILT array wide observations. 

Following this, and other similar contracts signed by the other international partners in the ILT (France, Germany and Sweden), all four international partners in LOFAR were formally welcomed as full members of the ILT, and given commemorative certificates. 

This is a significant milestone for LOFAR-UK guaranteeing UK scientists access to the agreed upon fraction of LOFAR data and many congratulations are due to the management of LOFAR-UK for the completion of this stage of the project.

From left to right shown are: FLOW representative Michel Tagger, GLOW delegate to the meeting Anton Zensus, LOFAR-Sweden secretary John Conway, LOFAR-UK chairman Philip Best, NL-LAC delegate and ILT Board chairman Heino Falcke, ILT Director Rene Vemeulen, ASTRON delegate Mike Garrett, and NL-LAC delegate Ralph Wijers.

The above picture, from the ASTRON picture of the day for June 30th shows members of the board celebrating this event.

 The LOFAR stations provided by these international partners greatly improve the capabilities of the ILT, by extending the maximum baseline of the telescope and therefore increasing resolution significantly (as was demonstrated by the first light image including 3 international stations). 

 Further countries are continuing to work towards obtaining funding 
for LOFAR stations and will hopefully join in the future extending the capabilities of the telescope even further.