About LOFAR

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Astron

Initiator: ASTRON Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy

eu  SNN

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

Simultaneous multi-beam observations with the LBA

Copyright: Hassall/LOFAR PWG

LOFAR's unique design means that it can do many things that traditional radio telescopes can't. One such "thing" is looking in different directions at the same time. It does this by forming "beams" by combining the data from many stations. By delaying the signals from different stations it is possible to point the beam anywhere within the field of view of a station, and by recording several of these beams simultaneously LOFAR is able to look at many sources at once.

This functionality has previously been demonstrated in the High Band, but it is even more impressive in the Low Band, where the beams can be pointed even further apart as the station field of view is much larger.

The image above shows five pulsars which were observed simultaneously at a central frequency of 28 MHz with an 8 MHz band. The red points show their positions on the Haslam 408 MHz map to illustrate how far apart the sources are on the sky. The two outermost beams were separated by over 65 degrees which is the angular size of a screen in a typical cinema.

The point without a pulse profile shows the position of B0943+10, which was also observed, but was too weak to detect at such low frequencies.

Tom Hassall and the LOFAR Pulsar Working Group

ASTRON initiated LOFAR as a new and innovative effort to force a breakthrough in sensitivity for astronomical observations at radio-frequencies below 250 MHz. 
Development: Dripl | Design: Kuenst   © copyright 2020 Lofar