I-LOFAR: Challenging technologies for massive data transport and processing


LOFAR has already stimulated discussions between scientists and engineers across Europe to collaborate on this truly inter-disciplinary project. Of particular interest to the I-LOFAR consortium will be research in:
  • Distributed Sensor Fields.
  • High-speed data communication and GRID computing.
  • Algorithms for data analysis and visualization.
  • Use of supercomputers and novel computer architectures.
Following significant investment in ICT by Irish funding agencies, such as SFI, Enterprise Ireland, these are areas in which Ireland has great expertise. LOFAR will challenge Irish researchers in ICT to develop new methods for transporting, storing and processing large data volumes, technologies key to the development of the next generation internet. Indeed, IBM are already working closely with LOFAR teams in Sweden and Holland.

The huge ratio between the LOFAR field-of-view and the resolution provided by its long baselines represents a huge challenge to traditional imaging and data calibration algorithms. Significant development and innovation will be required to image the entire field-of-view at full resolution, as well to provide adequate calibration and removal of atmospheric effects on long baselines. The broad frequency coverage and narrow channel widths will also present new and exciting possibilities to spectral and polarization studies, which are currently unfeasible for existing telescopes. The consortium will develop statistical imaging reconstruction techniques, focusing in particular on Bayesian and multi-scale techniques.


The International LOFAR Telescope including the extension to Ireland, which will be completed in early 2017.

Project contact point: Dr. Peter T. Gallagher