Calibratability and its impact on configuration design for the LOFAR and SKA phased array radio telescopes
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
Volume 46, Issue 5, October 2011
How to Cite
2011), Calibratability and its impact on configuration design for the LOFAR and SKA phased array radio telescopes, Radio Sci., 46, RS0F07, doi:10.1029/2011RS004733., , and (
- Issue published online: 8 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 8 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Received: 30 MAR 2011
- radio astronomy;
- system design
 The Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) is a synthesis radio telescope covering the 10–240 MHz range. LOFAR is the first operational pathfinder to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a future radio telescope envisaged to be at least an order of magnitude more sensitive than current instruments. LOFAR exploits the same hierarchical beamforming structure as envisaged for the SKA phased array systems. In this paper, we describe the system requirements imposed by calibratability, i.e., the ability to perform a proper self-calibration of the instrument, for the low frequency regime. We derive requirements on station size, aperture efficiency and side lobe level. We also discuss the impact of the polarimetric response of the stations. We discuss the LOFAR design choices made to satisfy these requirements and indicate their implications for SKA phased array systems. This demonstrates that calibratability imposes requirements complementary to those based on imaging requirements and that self-calibratability has a significant impact on configuration design considerations.