Thursday, March 29, 2012

LOFAR-UK Call for Proposals for Standalone Observations

View of the LOFAR site at Chilbolton, with the Low Band Array (LBA) in the foreground. Credit: STFC/SEPnet

LOFAR-UK is pleased to announce the opportunity for scientists to carry out shared-risk observations using the UK LOFAR station at Chilbolton as a stand-alone facility. (Observations taken as part of the
International LOFAR Telescope array are co-ordinated through the ILT)

The LOFAR-Chilbolton array operates in the low radio frequency regime, from ~20-80 MHz and 110-240 MHz. The important station parameters (bandwidth, theoretical sensitivity, allowed frequency settings, primary beam, etc) are fully detailed in this document.  Equiped with the ARTEMIS back-end, the LOFAR Chilbolton station offers unique capabilities for tied-array monitoring, ionospheric riometry, solar spectrography, large-area imaging, and other scientific projects.

LOFAR-UK is making available a minimum of 200 hours of observing time using the facility. This call for proposals is open to any interested observer. However, LOFAR-UK is only able to provide observing support and training to scientists working at LOFAR-UK institutes; for external scientists, some degree of experience with the system is required.

Observations will be carried out in shared-risk mode, and will be subject to the commissioning rules of the LOFAR consortium. Of particular relevance is the publication and authorship policy, to which there is also a supplementary short list of LOFAR-UK Builders for observations using Chilbolton as a stand-alone array.

Proposals for use of the facility may be of up to two A4 pages in length, at a minimum of 11pt font. These two pages should include:

* a self-contained scientific justification for the observations
* one paragraph of text describing the proposed goals, written at a level understandable to an interested member of the general public.
* technical information relating to the observations and required observing time
* any figures and references
* for observers external to LOFAR-UK institutions, an indication of their experience with LOFAR observations.

Proposals should be in pdf format, with a maximum file size of 5MB. They should be submitted by email to:


--> by 5pm on 30th April 2012

For further information, see the LOFAR-UK webpages for astronomers, or email

Friday, March 2, 2012

Special LOFAR Edition of the Jodcast

Following their visit to Chilbolton last month to help with the repairs to LOFAR-UK, the Jodcast has just released their special LOFAR edition.

They talk to Dr Neal Jackson (Manchester) about LOFAR itself; Dr Tom Hassall (Southampton) about using it to detect pulsars and (very soon to be Dr) Anna Kapinska (Portsmouth) about how it can be used to study active galactic nuclei.