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Workshop on Computational and Technological Challenges of LOFAR

15 and 16 December 2005
John von Neumann Institute for Computing (NIC), Research Centre Jülich, Germany

LOFAR NIC-Workshop 2005 Icon


The Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) is the prototype of next generation telescopes for radio-astronomy. The scientific case for a radio telescope with much higher sensitivity than currently available includes many topical questions such as the "epoch of reionization" or the "evolution of black holes". Its realization - presently starting in the Netherlands - defines a complete shift in technology with regard to the collection of information in the radio domain: the focusing into an image plane by a dish antenna is replaced by digital processing of signal collected with very simple omni-directional antennas. This technique also enables to spread the collecting elements over an area of hundreds of km in diameter, a prerequisite if one wants to map the radio sky with sufficient angular resolution. The large area network also provides the infra-structure for sensor networks with applications in other fields, ranging e.g. from geosciences and meteorology to agriculture.

With the data transport requirements of Tbits/s and processing power needs of TFlops/s this new technique is, however, a real challenge for computing and technologies. The workshop will provide a platform for discussions between scientists and engineers from the different fields collaborating in this truly interdisciplinary project. Specifically the topics

  • Scientific challenges
  • Distributed sensor fields
  • High-speed data communication and GRID computing
  • Algorithms for data analysis and visualisation
  • Use of supercomputers and novel computer architectures

will be addressed.


R.J. Dettmar, NRW Research Association Astro-Interferometry
K. v.d. Schaaf, ASTRON, NL
Th. Lippert, NIC Jülich

Local organisers:
Wolfgang Gürich
Dr. Sabine Höfler-Thierfeldt
John von Neumann Institute for Computing
52425 Jülich

Workshop secretary:

Mrs. Erika Wittig
Conference Service
Research Centre Jülich
52428 Jülich


Research Centre Jülich (Forschungszentrum Jülich FZJ)
Central Institute for Applied Mathematics

Hörsaal (Lecture room, Room No. 006)
Building 16.3, Entrance E3 ("old" ZAM building, ground floor)


Thursday, December 15th, 2005

13:00Registration, snacks & coffee
in ZAM Foyer, 1st floor, "old" building
14:00Opening Session
Thomas Lippert, Research Centre Jülich
14:15Introduction to LOFAR
Ralf-Jürgen Dettmar, University of Bochum
14:45The Initial LOFAR Key Science Projects
Heino Falcke, ASTRON
15:10Key Science Projects and Science Network in Germany
Rainer Beck, MPI for Radioastronomy Bonn
15:35LOFAR System Overview
Kjeld van der Schaaf, ASTRON
16:00Coffee break
16:30LOFAR Station System
Andre Gunst, ASTRON
16:55Cosmic Ray Detection
Lars Bähren, ASTRON
17:20LOFAR Networks
Peter Maat, ASTRON
17:45 X-WiN - an Infrastructure for High Performance Applications
Martin Wilhelm, DFN-Verein, Berlin
18:10 AstroGrid - a Community Project of the German e-Science Programme
Matthias Steinmetz, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam
18:45End of session
18:50Bus transfer to Burg Obbendorf
19:00Conference Dinner at Burg Obbendorf at Hambach
22:00Bus transfer to the hotels at Jülich


Friday, December 16th, 2005

08:00Bus transfer from the hotels to Research Centre Jülich
08:30Grid-enabling LOFAR: a grid-based approach to post processing and data archiving
Peter-Paul Borsboom, SARA, Amsterdam
08:55A dCache based Storage Element for Data Grids
Boris Orth, Research Centre Jülich
09:20LOFAR Central Processing Facility
Chris Broekema, ASTRON
09:45Scalability and BlueGene/L
Arnold Meijster, University of Groningen
10:10SCSQ, SuperComputer Stream Queries - an Implementation of a Stream Data Management System for BlueGene
Erik Zeitler, University of Uppsala
10:35Coffee break
11:05N-Body Simulation - an Example for High Performance Computing and Visualization
Andreas Ernst, Research Centre Jülich / University of Heidelberg
11:30Distributed, Interactive Visualization, Feature Detection and Collaboration
Ulrich Lang, University of Cologne
11:55A Process Coordinator for the Planck-Satellite
Hans-Martin Adorf, MPI für Astrophysik, Garching
12:20High Throughput Data Processing and Analysis Services Toolkit for LOFAR
Rainer Stotzka, Research Centre Karlsruhe
12:45 Closing remarks
13:00End of the workshop


Programme as pdf-file:  Programme of the Workshop on the Computational and Technological Challenges of LOFAR (PDF, 69 kB)