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Astron

Initiator: ASTRON Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy

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This project was co-financed by the EU, the European Fund for Regional Development and the Northern Netherlands Provinces (SNN), and EZ/KOMPAS.

International LOFAR station Tautenburg complete

Copyright: Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg

On Wednesday, 21 October 2009, around noon the last one of 96 HBA tiles was installed at the LOFAR station Tautenburg. This completed the second full international station and the first one with a regular HBA pattern.

Due to the hard work of everybody involved and despite difficult weather conditions caused by rain and snow the installation could be finished more than 2 days ahead of time. A very good planning and careful preparations followed by an amazing team work between the Autonational team and and the mostly technical staff of the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg made that possible.

On 5 October three employees from the HBA company Autonational arrived to install the anchors and place and fix the fleece between the tiles. In the same week 38 HBA tiles were delivered. Therefore the actual installation could start on 12 October with the support of 10 people from the local institute. On the very first day already 8 tiles were installed. Later a new record of 19 tiles per day was even set.

Figure: The upper part of the picture shows the complete LOFAR station. Construction work started in August 2008 and the first observations with the Low Band Antennas were done after the installation of the electronics in April 2009. The lower picture shows a separate view of the HBA field with the domes of the optical telescopes in the back. In the middle most of the team members can be seen who did a terrific job to install the High Band Antennas in such an amazing time and despite of rain and snow. From the left: Stewart Keenan (Autonational), Marlies Fuhrmann (TLS), Johannes Winkler (TLS), Bernd Fuhrmann (TLS), Annette Haas (Project Manager TLS), Alexander Wyltschew (TLS), Zabet Ahmadi (Autonational), Stefan Högner (TLS), Han Wessels (Teamleader Autonational), Michael Pluto (TLS), Jochen Eislöffel (TLS), Jürgen Haupt (TLS), Michael Kehr (TLS), Holger Menzel (TLS), Matthias Hoeft (TLS). Missing in the picture is Jörg Schiller (TLS), Andrea Schmidt (TLS) and Christian Högner (TLS) who also contributed to the preparation and installation of the station.

ASTRON initiated LOFAR as a new and innovative effort to force a breakthrough in sensitivity for astronomical observations at radio-frequencies below 250 MHz. 
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