The LOFAR radio telescope consists of around 88.000 antennas in 64 stations distributed over 5 European countries and spanning some 1500 kilometers.
Together, the antennas produce around 25 GB/s, which is processed in real time to combine the signals into a single view of the sky. In this way, over 27 PBytes of observation data are produced, which is stored in the LOFAR archive.
Unfortunately, several processing steps need to be performed by the astronomers before they can start using the data, such as Radio Frequency Interference removal, calibration, and imaging. Due to the large data volumes and complexity of the tools, each of these processing steps takes a significant amount of effort by the astronomer.
In PROCESS, we plan to automate these initial processing steps using workflow tools and offer this solution to the astronomers via a convenient notebook environment. This will significantly simplify the use of the stored observations, and allow the astronomer to focus on the science instead of the preprocessing of the data.