The Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) is an international network of state-of-the-art telescopes used to observe the Universe in unprecedented detail at low radio frequencies. LOFAR is one of the largest astrophysics projects in Europe, consisting of 12 international stations spread across Germany, Poland, France, UK, Sweden and Ireland, with additional stations and a central hub in The Netherlands, operated by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON). The network uses state-of-the-art data processing and storage systems as well as sophisticated computing techniques to combine the entire network into a telescope with the effective size of the European continent.
I-LOFAR is the Irish addition to this network and the 12th international station to be built in Europe. It allows Irish astrophysical research to be integrated into one of the most sophisticated telescopes on the planet. The location of this Irish station is in the centre of the country on the grounds of Birr Castle, Co. Offaly.
Map of the International LOFAR Telescope
An array of LOFAR low band antennas (LBA)
I-LOFAR is run by a consortium of Irish astrophysicists, computer engineers and data scientists, representing Irish universities and institutes of technologies from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The consortium is lead by Trinity College Dublin, with partners from University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Athlone Institute of Technology, the National University of Ireland Galway, University College Cork, the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and Armagh Observatory.
This facility allows Irish researchers and students access to a facility involved in some of the most ground-breaking and advanced research projects in modern astronomy, including projects in big-bang cosmology, deep extragalactic surveys, cosmic magnetism, cosmic rays, solar physics and space weather.
Birr Kids Space Ireland
Birr Scientific & Heritage Foundation
Joe Hogan (Openet)
Birr Lions Club
Birr Chamber of Commerce