LOFAR ERIC has been officially set up by the European Commission on 20 December 2023.

LOFAR ERIC will soon be taking on all governance and operations responsibilities for the LOFAR Distributed Research Infrastructure. This website will be updated accordingly in due time.

LOFAR

ERIC

Low Frequency Array

LOFAR is the largest and most sensitive radio telescope operating at low radio frequencies, between 10 and 240 MHz. It consists of antenna stations geographically distributed across Europe and driven in software by powerful station-level computing to produce a highly flexible and agile observing system. With a sensitivity more than 2 orders of magnitude better than any previous telescope at these frequencies, unparalleled angular resolution, an enormous field of view and multi-beam capabilities, LOFAR is by far the most powerful 100 MHz telescope on the planet and is revolutionising our view of the low-frequency radio universe.

LOFAR has an extremely diverse science case, from cosmology to Solar system studies:

  • it is conducting sensitive cosmological studies of the formation of the first stars and galaxies
  • carrying out the deepest ever large-sky radio source surveys
  • revolutionising the study of pulsars and transient radio phenomena
  • studying the origin and composition of ultra-high energy cosmic rays
  • investigating the radio signatures of Solar and interplanetary activity
  • opening new avenues into the study of the interstellar medium and cosmic magnetic fields

LOFAR also provides a platform for conducting research in other science disciplines, such as the study of lightning, the ionosphere, and Space Weather. As such, LOFAR attracts a very broad user community from a wide range of countries.

Credits: J. Hessels, I. Bonati

LOFAR ERIC

LOFAR is by its nature a pan-European project, with 52 antenna stations located across 8 European countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The construction of 2 further international stations in Italy and Bulgaria is planned. The long international baselines arising from the distributed nature of LOFAR are essential to provide its unique high angular resolution. 

LOFAR ERIC will provide a coordinating organisation to optimise the joint exploitation and to maximise the science output of the LOFAR facilities. Importantly, LOFAR ERIC will also ensure a united approach to ongoing and future upgrades to the facility. The staged upgrade called LOFAR2.0 will hugely enhance the capabilities of LOFAR, particularly at the lowest frequencies.

Rozhen station

Operated by

LOFAR-BG

Unterweilenbach station

Operated by

the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik.

Tautenburg station

Operated by

the Thüringer Landessternwarte.

Potsdam-Bornim station

Operated by

the Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam.

Onsala station

Operated by

the Onsala Space Observatory.

Norderstedt station

Operated by

Universität Bielefeld and Universität Hamburg.

Nançay station

Operated by

the Observatoire de Paris and CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique).

Medicina station

Operated by

Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF).

Lazy station

Operated by

the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

Jülich station

Operated by

jointly the University of Bochum, Jacobs University Bremen & Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Irbene station

Operated by

Ventspils University College (VUC).

Effelsberg station

Operated by

the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie.

Chilbolton station

Operated by

STFC (Science and Technology Facilities Council) on behalf of LOFAR-UK and SEPNET (South East Physics Network).

Borowiec station

Operated by

the Space Research Institute (CBK) in Warsaw.

Birr Castle station

Operated by

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Baldy Station

Operated by

the University of Warmia and Mazury - UWM - in Olsztyn.

Vision and mission of LOFAR ERIC

The vision of LOFAR ERIC is to ensure that LOFAR remains the world's most powerful very-low-frequency and long-baseline radio interferometer, to serve the needs of the European research community, and to bring it together to maximise the scientific output from the powerful and versatile LOFAR infrastructure. Through this, LOFAR ERIC aims to provide hands-on scientific and technical skills and knowledge that will enable European researchers to establish and maintain global leadership positions in radio astronomy.

To achieve this vision, the mission of LOFAR ERIC has several components.

  1. LOFAR ERIC will place the long-term governance of LOFAR on a secure footing, by providing a robust coordinating organisation which will ensure the efficient joint operation of the existing LOFAR facilities.
  2. LOFAR ERIC will draw together a cross-disciplinary international collaboration of experts and promote a united international approach to implement the ongoing upgrade LOFAR2.0, delivering a successful Phase 1 within its initial 5-year period.
  3. LOFAR ERIC will facilitate the broad scientific exploitation of the LOFAR research infrastructure by developing and enhancing its unique capabilities and facilitating access for use and re-use of its extensive data products.
  4. LOFAR ERIC will offer capabilities to the European research community that are not available anywhere else in the world, and thus offer huge advantages for researchers, both scientifically and technically. It will help to place European researchers at the forefront of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA; the multi-billion-Euro global radio telescope for which construction is just beginning), cementing long-term benefits for Europe and a long-standing uniqueness of LOFAR in the SKA era.

LOFAR News

Interim directorship LOFAR ERIC

We write to follow the announcement you have received from René Vermeulen describing his imminent extended leave, starting on 1 March.

We take this first opportunity to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for René in leading LOFAR to its current heights. René’s painstaking work has enabled LOFAR to build from a nascent Dutch facility into an ever-growing and strong European collaboration of members, now numbering 10 countries.

Published 4 hours ago by

LOFAR ERIC: Distributed Research Infrastructure for European Astronomical Research Launched

LOFAR ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) has been officially launched at its first Council meeting today. The world-leading LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) Distributed Research Infrastructure has already revolutionised low-frequency radio astronomy research, resulting in an avalanche of scientific publications in the past decade. LOFAR ERIC is now a single legal entity across the European Union.

Published 1 month ago by

LOFAR ERIC

defines and implements a common long-term strategy, joint fundraising, and consistent prioritisation of the development effort for LOFAR2.0, as well as optimising the availability of the collective partner and LOFAR ERIC owned facilities (including sensor, compute, and data storage resources) that form the LOFAR research infrastructure.

LOFAR ERIC

is the appropriate vehicle to attract and consolidate partners with a range of levels of involvement, and to establish and maintain clear long-term policies and funding stability for the organisation and its infrastructure as a whole.

LOFAR ERIC

cohered at the (multi-)national level, brings appropriate visibility and recognition at national and European levels, facilitating a dialogue with science policy makers and funders across its working domain.

LOFAR ERIC

with its unique and cutting-edge facilities, has a continuing role in assuring and stimulating the vitality of the European science community.
crossmenuchevron-downarrow-leftarrow-right