An I-LOFAR Consortium meeting was held in the Dining Room of Birr Castle to discuss equipment transport logistics, site preparation and personnel preparation for the LOFAR build. Representatives in attendance from DIAS, UCD, ICHEC, TCD, UCC, NUIG, Armagh Observatory, Birr Castle, and the Latvian LOFAR team.
On the 28th of April 2017, the I-LOFAR team received their first delivery, which included the I-LOFAR container.
From the 8th to the 12th of May the position of the cable trenches were staked out. These included the low band antenna (LBA) cable exit, North & South grid markers on the LBA field, tile corner guides on the high band antenna (HBA) field, and also the HBA cable exits.
The I-LOFAR build started on the 22nd of May 2017, with a team of undergraduate physics students from TCD, UCD, DCU, DIT, and NUI Galway.
The first two weeks of the build involved the cabling of the HBA and LBA arrays, with the third, fourth and fifth weeks spent working on constructing HBA tiles and deploying them onto the array. The sixth and seventh weeks were spent constructing the LBA array, which was completed in a few days.
On the 14th of July 2017, I-LOFAR started its commissioning process, which it completed on the 17th of July 2017, when I-LOFAR was handed over to Ireland.
On Thursday, the 27th of July 2017 the I-LOFAR “First Light” Opening Ceremony took place. In attendance were Minister Halligan of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, Dr.Ruth Freeman of Science Foundation Ireland, Richard Moat CEO of Eir, and Lord Rosse of Birr Castle.