LOFAR Newsletters February 2016

Distributed on 23 February 2016


Array status:


-       38 stations operational in the Netherlands: 24 core stations and 14 remote stations.

-       9 international stations operational: DE601, DE602, DE603, DE604, DE605, FR606, SE607, UK608, DE609.

-       3 new international stations have been built in Poland (PL610, PL611, and PL612). Final checks are in progress to successfully include them in ILT observations.

-       In 2016, a new LOFAR station will be built on the grounds of Birr Castle, located centrally in Ireland.

-       The overview of non-operational antenna elements for LBA and HBA is available here.

-       Station calibration: In the last two months, data were collected for the calibration of the remote stations in mode 1 and of all Dutch stations in mode 3. The data reduction is currently on-going. Further runs were performed to complete the installation of tables in mode 6 for all stations. Finally, calibration tables were installed on the new Polish stations. The data collected with PL610 in LBA were affected by strong RFI from the ground. Investigations to identify these sources of RFI are underway.


Observing System Status:


-       The observing system was mostly stable during the period January - February 2016. However, failures of COBALT nodes, and the instability of processing and LTA (ingest) systems caused some delays in the exploitation of the Cycle 5 observing programme and in digesting data out of CEP2.


Software Development Status (J. Annyas):


-       A software release (2.15) in preparation for CEP4 commissioning took place on Januari 25th. 

-       The software team is currently still working on the implementation of a dynamic scheduler and required components to allow utilization of the CEP4 job scheduler.

-       The LBA Sparse mode was implemented and is now under test 

-       Support has been given to the integration of Poznan LTA site. Issues caused by recent updates of middleware at SURFsara were investigated and solved.

-       A first step was made in the LTA user ingest process. This will be tested with EOR data when this become available. 

-       The stager has been integrated with the LOFAR authentication database to allow release of enhanced user interaction such as scripted staging requests and checking status of active requests.


CITT Status (T. J. Dijkema & E. Orru')



-       The CITT2 is currently focusing on stress testing the Factor pipeline, the pipeline for HBA imaging using the facet calibration technique. In the end of December, in Busy Week 23, about 10 fields passed the initial stages of this pipeline, and a major bug was fixed. Currently, we are in the middle of Busy Week 24, in which again about 10 fields are reduced with Factor, also on interleaved observations.

-       In the process of improving the pipeline, some functionality was added to DPPP and the pipeline framework.


Observing Programmes and miscellaneous items:


-       The Cycle 6 proposal call can be found here. The proposal submission deadline is 9 March, at 12 UT. PC meeting: 28+29 April, at ASTRON.

-       Cycle 5 observing programme: 58% complete. Schedule available here.

-       Cycle 4 observing programme: 94% complete. The rest is being observed with second priority during Cycle 5.

-       LOFAR user contributed scripts have been migrated to GitHub and are available to the entire user community. You can find them in the repository. The repository is also documented in the latest release of the LOFAR Imaging cookbook.

-       A collection of LOFAR slides that can be used when preparing LOFAR-related presentations is available here.

-       Recent LOFAR science highlights are collected here and in ppt form here

-       On 2 February, MonetDB database GSM has been moved from ldb002 to ldb003.

-       'The Third LOFAR Users meeting',  ‘'The 2016 LOFAR Community Science Workshop, and the ‘ILT Technical Operations Meeting' will take place on 4-7 April 2016 in Zandvoort aan Zee, nearby Amsterdam. The meeting website is available here. The deadline for the registration, for the payment of the registration fee, and for submitting an abstract is 14 March.


CEP news:


-       CEP4

  • The CEP4 cluster is being prepared by our systems administrator partners of the CIT.


-       CEP2:

  • Disk space situation is often critical, especially in case of instability of the processing and ingest systems and after week-ends.
  • During the past two months, a few locus nodes experienced issues and were temporarily taken out of production.


-       CEP3:

  • Cluster info and schedule available here.
  • Monitoring of node usage is active. Statistics will be used to evaluate requests for extensions.
  • Disk space situation critical on the commissioning node lof021.


Calendar next LOFAR activities:


Note: the following events are now marked on an online calendar tht is available here.

-       Next LSM's : 02/03, 16/03, 30/03, 13/04, 27/04

(note: all presentations given at the LSM are available here).

-       Next Stop days: 01/03, 05/04, 03/05

-       Next software roll outs: 14/03, 23/05

-       'The Third LOFAR Users meeting': 04/04

-       ‘'The 2016 LOFAR Community Science Workshop': 05-06/04

-       ‘ILT Technical Operations Meeting': 07/04

-       Next LOFAR bulletin: April 2016.

Design: Kuenst.    Development: Dripl.    © 2022 ASTRON