Project Part A9: Commissioning and pilot observations

Persons involved


Commissioning and pilot observations with LOFAR are crucial to understand the telescope and its receiving systems to develop calibration and reduction procedures for high quality low- frequency observations. These activities are planned to start soon and will be guided by the hardware rollout. To reach the goals of the Research Unit dedicated commissioning tests are required to measure and to correct all kinds of instrumental polarisation effects and to correct for Faraday rotation in the Earth’s ionosphere. We apply for a Commissioning Team consist- ing of a postdoc and two Ph.D. students to work on the topics mentioned and to participate in the first LOFAR survey - the Million Source Shallow Survey (MSSS) - and the subsequent Magnetism Early Experiment Exploration (MEEE), followed by first observations of deep fields. Polarisation observations with existing low-frequency telescopes, e.g. WSRT and GMRT, were already proposed and partly observed, which will help the students to develop and optimise cal- ibration strategies and to learn about specific problems with low-frequency observations. The amount of further involvement of the team in these projects depends on the actual rollout and availability of the LOFAR hardware.