I-LOFAR – Exploring the Radio Universe from Ireland

Welcome to the Irish Low Frequency Array (I-LOFAR) website. I-LOFAR is the Irish station in a European-wide network of state-of-the-art radio telescopes, used to observe the Universe at low frequencies (10-240 MHz). With the award of €1.4 million from Science Foundation Ireland, the I-LOFAR consortium have built a cutting-edge astrophysics observing facility in Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, in the midlands of Ireland. This facility connects Ireland to the International LOFAR Telescope, which is one of the most sophisticated and advanced astrophysics research projects in the world. The integration of Irish astrophysics into such a large scale international astrophysics research facility allows Irish researchers to make ground-breaking advances in numerous fields of physics and data science, and inspire young scientists and engineers to pursue the advancement of Irish astrophysics for decades to come.


I-LOFAR is a low frequency radio telescope based at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly in Ireland. It connects to the International LOFAR Telescope network which stretches nearly 2,000 km from Ireland to Poland.

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The I-LOFAR Consortium primarily includes researchers from Ireland and Northern Ireland, but also includes leading scientists from the UK, the Netherlands and the US.

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I-LOFAR represents a great opportunity to engage with school children of all ages and teach them about the exciting I-LOFAR research in physics, engineering and data science.

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I-LOFAR are seeking Donors to support this exciting project, following generous donations from Dermot Desmond, Denis O’Brien and Joe Hogan. Please contact Professor Peter Gallagher for further details.

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Focus on

Engineers Week 2021

2021 Research Summer Internship Programme with I-LOFAR

Breakthrough Listen sponsored Summer Internship with I-LOFAR Would…

Winter Solstice 2020

Science in the Movies: Fact vs Fiction with OFFline

I-LOFAR are delighted to team up with OFFline Film Festival here…

Culture Night 2020: Astronomy in Birr Virtual Tour

Explore the historic and modern astrophysics research happening…


Big Questions That LOFAR Could Answer

Are we alone in the universe?

LOFAR will enable scientists to search for planets in other star systems, and also to detect very weak radio signals from far away, perhaps indicating intelligent life.

How do clusters of galaxies, galaxies, stars and planets form?

LOFAR will provide clues to the processes forming the Universe today, including the origins of magnetic fields and cosmic rays, the birth of stars and planets, and perhaps the origin of life.

How does the sun affect the earth?

Solar storms can produce spectacular auroral displays, but large events can interrupt GPS, damage satellites, and disrupt power grids. LOFAR will track these disruptive storms, enabling us to better forecast their impacts at Earth.

What did the universe look like soon after the big bang?

LOFAR will take radio images of the Universe soon after the Big
Bang, enabling us to understand its origins and early evolution.

What are black holes?

These enigmatic objects were predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. LOFAR will enable us to study black holes in the centre of distant galaxies with more detail than ever before.

Where can I see all of this?

Birr Castle, Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland!

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Latest News

I-LOFAR at the EU Parliament in Brussels on November 5

I-LOFAR Briefing at EU Parliament
Meeting room WIB 05M003 (12:00…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Brussels Seminar: “I-LOFAR: A driver for smart and sustainable growth in Europe’s regions”

On the afternoon of 5 November 2013, a seminar on “LOFAR-A…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

LOFAR Array and Visitor Centre Awarded Planning Permission

We are delighted to announce that Offaly County Council has been…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

LOFAR to bring cutting-edge network of radio telescopes to Ireland

Dublin, June 6, 2013: Irish astronomers launch campaign to build…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Tullamore Tribune coverage of LOFAR presentation at Birr Town Council

April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

I-LOFAR Presentation at Birr Town Council

Thanks to Michael Loughnann, Chairman of Birr Town Council, and…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

First Solar Radio Burst Observed by I-LOFAR Test Array!

The I-LOFAR test array of four Low Band Antennas (LBAs) hooked…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

I-LOFAR Test Array Installed at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly

The I-LOFAR test array consists of 4 Low Band Antenna (LBA)…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Jocelyn Bell Burnell Inaugurated as Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the discoverer of 'pulsars', was recently…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Super-Massive Black Hole

Astronomers have produced one of the best images ever made at…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Ground Planes

The ground planes for the LBA Test Array arrived at Birr Castle…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

I-LOFAR Test Array Site

The following site was chosen to host the four LOFAR LBA antenna…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan


Birr Kids Space Ireland
Birr Scientific & Heritage Foundation
Grant Engineering
Joe Hogan (Openet)
Dermot Desmond
Denis O’Brien
Birr Lions Club
Birr Chamber of Commerce


Science Foundation Ireland
Enterprise Ireland
Dept. of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation
Offaly County Council
Dept. of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural, and Gaeltacht

Consortium Members



Birr Castle Gardens & Science Centre
Rosse Row, Birr,
County Offaly,
R42 VO27

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