Square Kilometre Array/LOFAR & SKA

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 of information, which is processed in real-time to combine the signals into a single view of the sky. In the end, over 27 PBytes of observation data are produced, which is stored in the LOFAR archive.

Unfortunately, several processing steps need to be performed by astronomers before they can start using the data, such as Radio Frequency Interference removal, calibration and imaging. Due to the large volume of data and complexity of the tools, each of these processing steps require astronomers to make a significant amount of effort.

In PROCESS, we plan to automate these initial processing steps using workflow tools and offer this solution to astronomers via a convenient notebook environment. This will significantly simplify the use of the stored observations and allow astronomers to focus on science instead of on preprocessing data.