Get Excited for the New I-LOFAR Website & boxes


I received an email early this morning from Alan the web designer for the new I-LOFAR website, to met with him at 3pm, where we discussed the new I-LOFAR website and where everything is on it and what we are keeping (such as the headings), the website look amazing and so modern. For the POLOFAR data I received off Diana, I edited the script that was given to me, to have labels on the  dynamic spectrum.

I then started on one of the I-LOFAR posters which will be on I-LOFAR site for visitors to see “what I-LOFAR is all about”.

In Codify I continued my project on the analysis of shark attacks, were I fixed my NaN problem, and then made a graph of the top 10 shark attacks as a x marker plot.


At 11am I had a meeting with the rest of the I-LOFAR team with Alan the web designer (as they had yet to speak with him), were we discussed what headers that needed to be changed and what content need to be up as soon as possible. So, I am working with Diana (Postdoc) and Aoife (PhD) to do the majority of this website with me.

Also on the 16th of May we will be going to the French embassy as my supervisor is receiving an award for his outreach science in France.


I started my day with editing the new I-LOFAR website, I needed to change a few heading and I cannot create them, as I am not the administrator of the website. On the new website I edited the “What of I-LOFAR?” and “The Build”, where I put in a timeline of the I-LOFAR journey. Later in the day I went to a “manual handling course”, for the build of I-LOFAR.


I spent the day editing the technology section of the website, where we have information of the LOFAR technology, the transport team, the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) , and the International LOFAR station.


Spent the day editing and changing the images in the technology section of the I-LOFAR website. I also added in some more team members, and also the list of collaborators, which I received from Prof. Peter Gallagher. I also watched the Science Gallery (Trinity College Dublin) talk on Autonomous Vehicles of Tomorrow Showcase 2017 on YouTube. But everyone look forward to the 10th of April 2017 as the New I-LOFAR website will be released.


First Analysis of data & Shark Attack!!!


I started my week with “Codify” were the class was started by quickly going over the use of “PIP” which is an installation method, and also the “Anaconda” which is also used to install methods onto Python too, but for my laptop “PIP” seems to work in my command prompt . I then moved onto the codify project, which is to analysis “shark attack” data. I started with the importing of pandas, and read in the excel file. Then I asked for how many males where attacked and how many females where attacked. Then I had got the program to count the activities and which activity had the most shark attacks.


I started to cover how I can remove “NaN” in the excel files on shark attacks. Later in the day I got an email off Joe (Senior Experimental Officer at Trinity College Dublin) to convert the list of equipment from PDF to an Excel. This list contains the material for I-LOFAR project which is coming from the Netherlands.


I started with cleaning up the excel file, which had the materials for the construction of I-LOFAR. I then went over my codify project which I found out how to remove the “NaN” and also how to remove the second time “Swimming” that appears in the top 20 activities that have been involved in a shark attack. I also got the right script to read through the POLOFAR data that Diana gave me.


I had covered some of my codify project for the morning so I made a plan out for myself to complete the codify project on shark attack analysis. I had completed two graphs from the POLOFAR data.


At 12pm I had a meeting with Peter(Supervisor), Aoife(PhD Student), and Eoin(Post Doc), where Aoife discussed her trip to ASTON in the Netherlands, and she got amazing images of the sun and moon!!! Then at 2pm till 5:10pm we had a solar science meeting with PhD students and post docs where we covered “European Radio Telescope Array”, Solar flares, Simulations, Space Weather, Solar Monitor, ASTON Netherlands, Power Network, and plasma flow on the sun. I also spoke at the meeting on what I was doing and what I am aiming to cover next week, as I-LOFAR will be releasing their new website and I will be adding material to it, and also make two posters for the I-LOFAR project which will be used on the site for the public, which will explain to them what I-LOFAR is and what we aim to use it for, and also describe what they are seeing. Peter also gave me a book called “An Introduction to Radio Astronomy”, which is a book for graduate level students and want to do radio astronomy. Then I am also planning on adding to the script Diana gave me to make the graph more appealing, and then to analysis certain frequencies.

LOFAR telescope array expands into Ireland

The world’s largest connected radio telescope is about to become even bigger! LOFAR, the Low Frequency Array, will expand into Ireland in 2016. This is not only great news for Irish astrophysics, but also for the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT).

The plans for a LOFAR station in Ireland have been around for a while, but now it’s official: a LOFAR station will be built this year in Ireland. I-LOFAR, the Irish LOFAR consortium, has been awarded €1.4 million by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Together with €0.5 million in philanthropic grants plus contributions of I-LOFAR members, it is possible to build and exploit the LOFAR station, which will be constructed on the grounds of Birr Castle, located centrally in Ireland.

Today, during a meeting at Birr Castle, Irish Ministers Bruton (Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation) and English (Education and Skills) announced the award for I-LOFAR, as one element of a €30 million investment by SFI in research infrastructures.

LOFAR is a world-leading facility for astronomical studies, providing for highly sensitive and detailed scrutiny of the nearby and far-away Universe. LOFAR is designed and operated on behalf of the ILT by ASTRON, the Netherlands institute for Radio Astronomy.

Dr. Rene Vermeulen, Director of the ILT, is delighted with the news: “The added Irish antenna station will be an excellent enhancement, extending the ILT to a pan-European fibre-connected network spanning nearly 2000 km. Such long distances allow exquisitely finely detailed sky imaging capability. And, at least as importantly, the Irish astronomical community will now add their expertise and effort to the “ILT family”, in the pursuit of a great many cutting-edge science questions that LOFAR can answer. Topics range from the properties of the Earth’s upper atmosphere, flaring of the Sun, out to the far reaches of the early Universe when the first stars and galaxies formed.”

According to Prof. Peter Gallagher, Head of I-LOFAR, “The Irish LOFAR station at Birr builds on Ireland’s great scientific heritage of the Leviathan Telescope of Birr and will connect us to the largest low frequency radio telescope in the world. I-LOFAR will also inspire students to study science, engineering and computer science, and attract additional visitors to Birr. It will also act as a magnet to attract technology companies to the area.”

The International LOFAR Telescope is the largest connected radio telescope in the world. There are currently six partner countries: of the 50 antenna stations, 38 are located in the Netherlands, 6 in Germany, 3 in Poland, and 1 each in France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Together, these have many thousands of receiving elements. The new Irish station will increase the distances between antenna stations, thus providing finer image details.

ILOFAR Groundworks Progress

In unseasonably favorable weather, the footprint for the latest LOFAR station (IE613) emerges from the ground at Birr Castle, Ireland. The ground levels are being raised by local contractors, Conneeley Building & Civil Engineering, to counter risks to the array posed by flooding.
Deployment of the antennas is scheduled to begin in spring 2017 after a pause for winter. IE613, when operational, will extend the international LOFAR base line to almost 1950km. Commissioning is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2017.

I-LOFAR Consortium meeting

The I-LOFAR Consortium meeting in the Dining Room of Birr Castle under the portrait of the 3rd Earl. Representatives in attendance from DIAS, UCD, ICHEC, TCD, UCC, NUIG, Armagh, Birr Castle, and the Latvian LOFAR team.

Astronomers open new window into stellar radio astronomy with LOFAR

A research group at the Dublin Insitute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) has recently used LOFAR to detect T Tau, a young sun-like star. This is the lowest frequency detection of a young stellar object to date, and the first ever detection of a young star with LOFAR. This detection was made possible by combining the next-generation quality data produced by LOFAR with high performance computing provided by DIAS and the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC). Observing young stars at these extremely low frequencies offers new ways to characterise their radio emission and paves the way for investigating the formation of stars like our Sun with future radio telescopes such as the Square Kilometer Array.

Online Lectures & Slack !!!!


I started my week with covering online lectures where I focused mainly on lectures covering  “Radio Observations of Coronal Mass Ejections”, which  Aoife (PhD Student) recommended.

I started my lectures covering the preliminaries, where they covered the specific Intensity, the Flux Density, and the Units, then I moved onto radioactive transfer and optical depth; also, covering the brightness temperature and then rewriting the radioactive transfer equation, were I then covered the relevant radio emission mechanism, and the Bremsstrahlung, Gyromagnetic Radiation, and Plasma Radiation.

In codify we covered “pandas”, this is great for data analysis as it will read in spreadsheet format. We had an in class assignment were we had to read a file on crimes in New York City, it was so interesting as we got to separate the offenses and label where in New York City they came from in our data.


I continued with my online lectures where I covered the derivation of plasma radiation with the effects of the electric coulomb force and Gauss’s Law. I also covered the plasma frequency types and their values. I then moved onto radio observations in general (emission mechanisms, range of observation), and the solar radio blasts types from 1960s (Type 1,2,3,4). I also looked at the standard flare-CME model (H (alpha) ribbons, X-Ray loops, prominence, cavity, plasma pileup, and the shock). I also looked over the white light emission: Thomson scattering, and the detectability of thermal radio CME, and thermal radio detectability of CME body. I also looked at the rare thermal radio CMEs.

I looked at the MatPlotLib website which is great to view different types of plotting code for your data.

I moved onto my second lecture which covered gyromagnetic radiation and looked at the thermal electrons, relativistic electrons, and electron gyrofrequency. I also looked at why we are interested in the coronas and CMEs, and why the shock even happens and the shock jump conditions.

I will be heading down to Birr on the 27th and 28th of April to receive the first deliveries of the I-LOFAR equipment, with the rest of the I-LOFAR team which is just so exciting!!!!


I finished my online lecturers where I covered Type II spectral feat.

Then I started analysing the “NYPD 7 Major Felony Incident Map” from Mondays Codify class; where I was trying to see if I can analysis the data on “Day of Week” and the “Borough”.


Next Monday I will start a Codify project, I have decided to pick the project on a data analysis project on a dataset containing details on every recorded shark attack in history; this project will be done over 3 weeks, which I am so excited about!!!

Diana (postdoc) gave me some LOFAR data to look at which is amazing!!!

Next weeks blog I hope to have some images of the data.


This week we had journal club where we covered a paper on “Historical space weather in Japan &China”, it was so interesting, especially the way they symbolised the aurora as an event of possible disaster.

We then looked over the app called “Slack” as we needed a place to send documents to each other and chat to each other, without have chains of emails; so, slack is the best option for a better way to collaborate and have small group discussions.