LOFAR in Hamburg

LOFAR, the „LoFrequency Array”, is a novel, digital radiotelescop, that extends to five countries. His core is in the netherlands. It is the first of a new generation of radiotelescopes and ancestor of the "Square Kilometre Array" (SKA). LOFAR works in the to date largely uncharted frequency range between about 10 MHz and 240 MHz.

LOFAR NorderstedtEurope
This telescope provides photos of the sky, by assimilating the signals thousends of single, attached dipol aerials in a super computer to pictures. LOFAR will exist in 40 stations,  which have respectively 96 x 2 dipols for the area  10-80 MHz as well as 48 x 16 or 96 x 16 aerials (each with 2 dipols) for the area 110-240 MHz.

The first German station was built in 2007 next to the 100m radiotelescope Effelsberg and completed in July 2009, the second follewd up near Tauteburg (Thüringer Forest). It was completed in November 2009.The third German station near Garching (Unterweilenbach) is in operation since 2010, the stations in Bornim near Potsdam and in Jülich since 2011. The sixth German station is practised by the universities in Hamburg and Bielefeld and will go into operation in 2014 in Norderstedt (north of Hamburg).

More stations in Chilbolton (south of England), in Nançay (southern Orleans, center of France) and near Onsala (south west Sweden) are in operation. Stations in Poland, Ireland and Finnland are planed. LOFAR was  official created  at 12.June 2010 by the former Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. The regular observations with 37 stations in the Netherland, five in Germany as well as both stations in Great Britain and France began in December 2012.

LOFAR will bring a gain of the sensibility and chevron resolution of more than the factor 20. A long way away signals of hydrogen clouds from the epoch of the reionisation about 1 milliard years after the big bang shell be detected. Long-wave radio signals come from low-energy electrons, that have a long age and bring teachings of long ago explosion procsses.  Also the sun physic will profit extensive by LOFAR, because LOFAR can observe the space weather.


The station in Norderstedt, at the Harthagen, will have the size of an football field and harbour two kins of aerial. LOFAR has in contrast to calssic radiotelescopes, that look like big satellite dishes, no movable parts. Instead consistes the station of 192 small aerials. This aerials area will only can be watched from the nearness, because the high of the aerials is maximum 1.70m. The today's date bends, encirled by arable land, will be keeped and integrate the aerial field in the landscape. The aerial area won't make any noises, won't exclaim radiance and emissions. Das Antennenfeld wird keine Geräusche verursachen, keine Strahlung und keine Abgase ausstoßen. So werden weder die umliegende Landwirtschaft noch die Anwohner der Umgebung noch die Spaziergänger belastet. Die Signale aller Antennen werden über extrem schnelles Internet zu einem Supercomputer in den Niederlanden übertragen, wo die Signale zu einem Himmelsbild zusammengesetzt werden.

Durch die enorme Zahl der Antennen ist das Teleskop sehr sensibel und kann selbst von extrem weit entfernten Galaxien scharfe Bilder produzieren. So hofft man zum Beispiel, die ersten Sterne im Universum aufzuspüren, magnetische Felder im Kosmos zu vermessen und Sonneneruptionen zu studieren.