Projekt LOFAR u Hrvatskoj

LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) je projekt izgradnje mreže prijemnika elektromagnetskih valova frekvencije niže od 250 MHz ili valne duljine duže od metra. Mreža bi imala višestruku namjenu a za astronomiju omogućila bi opažanje izuzetno slabih izvora radio valova u svemiru kao i njihovo precizno lociranje. U Hrvatskoj postoji inicijativa da se izgradi dio mreže gdje već postoji grupa znanstvenika ( Dr. Tome Antičić, Prof. Željko Ivezić, dipl. fiz. Vibor Jelić, Prof. Krešimir Pavlovski, Dr. Vernesa Smolčić, Prof. Dejan Vinković )  koja bi učestvovala u projektima koristeći LOFAR.


LOFARCRO: Advancing Croatia’s Scientific, Technological,and Educational growth via a PanEuropean Cutting edge Project

LOFAR ( is a next generation, joint European project that will induce a breakthrough in sensitivity for astronomical observations using a new, cutting-edge technological approach. The observational instrument consists of a large number of FM antenna-stations spread-out through Europe. Croatia’s geographical position would be ideal for hosting a few of these stations. This would even further advance the instrument’s sensitivity. LOFAR stations in Croatia will assure Croatia’s participation in this grand project that will push many frontiers in science and technology. For Croatia, this will open the perspective of establishing several astrophysical, geophysical, and agricultural science teams that will work on cutting-edge projects applicable to non-scientific sectors. Thus, an inevitable and immediate outcome of LOFAR-CRO will be a significant scientific, technological, and educational growth, in particular in the region hosting the antenna-stations.

LOFARCRO: Project Objectives

The realization of the LOFAR-CRO project will only be possible through a joint collaboration of Croatia’s scientific and non-scientific sectors. As an example, outlined below are some of the required steps for bringing LOFAR stations to Croatia.

‐ An optimal geographical location where the antennas will be posted has to be found, thus linking the project to Croatian agricultural, ecological sectors, and real estate markets. The ground will have to be prepared and maintained, thus involving Croatian construction businesses.

‐ Once the antennas are ready they will have to be transported to Croatia from the Netherlands. This will be organized in partnership with Croatian transport companies.

‐ Complex electronics will have to be installed on the antennas, as well as a newgeneration data transfer system (with a 10 Gb/s connection) from the Croatian stations to the Netherlands (where the LOFAR center is located). This will involve electronic, and information technology (IT) companies operating in Croatia.

Once established and functioning, the antennas will need to be maintained, invoking the need for additional human power from multiple Croatian scientific and non-scientific sectors.

The anticipated impact of LOFAR-CRO on Croatian scientific, technological, educational and economical growth is enormous, and summarized below.

LOFAR is a new-generation astronomical telescope that will break, and push further the limits of the universe known today. It carries the potential for cosmological discoveries comparable to that of an expanding universe, which led (almost a century ago) to the “Big Bang” theory that explains the creation of space. The LOFAR-CRO site will also be equipped with instruments, such as seismic geophones, bio-sensors and weather stations, highly relevant for geophysical and agricultural sciences. This will allow tracking the seismic activity of the region hosting the antennas, as well as monitoring environmental factors on sub-km scales, extremely important for e.g. agricultural green-house produce.

The many aspects of LOFAR-CRO will induce an educational growth. For example, teams of experts in this cutting-edge technology, handling the assembled data, and scientific researches will be established. These teams will grow in time by including new members, which will eventually become experts themselves. Such a large project will also attract new students that will devote their carriers to science and/or other non-academic sectors where they will apply the vast knowledge obtained via the LOFAR-CRO project.In particular, LOFAR is a new kind of telescope, an instrument that combines in software digitized electronic signals observed by the antennas. So, LOFAR is a “next generation” ITtelescope.

Thus, bringing such an instrument to Croatia will directly involve Croatia in one of the world’s most cutting-edge technological project. Thus, it will open new technological capacities for Croatia, as well as a perspective for non-scientific (e.g. agriculture, technology) companies that will base their products on the knowledge gathered from the LOFAR-CRO project.

In summary, the LOFAR-CRO project will boost Croatia towards the world’s cutting-edge levels in both science and technology. This will attract external scientific funding inflow, as well as knowledge growth, both of which will substantially impact Croatia’s economy, science, education, and technology.

LOFARCRO Site Requirements

At least 4 x 75m x 75m + passage space (optimally 200m x 200m in total)

Effective draining (such that puddles on the ground form for no longer than 30 minutes)

Accessible at least via a macadam road

> 2km away from any overhead high-voltage power lines (10kV and higher)

> 6km away from any radio/TV transmission station

> 2km away from railroad/tramway

> 2km away from windmills used to generate electrical power

> 500m away from any highways or roads with heavy traffic

> 500m away from any urban development

> 100m away from forests, and single high trees or structures higher than10m

the land adjacent to the stations south viewing border is cleared of any high trees or structures higher than 20m over a distance of 200m

the site is not enclosed by metallic or electric fences

Prepared by:

Vernesa Smolcic
California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Blvd., MC: 105-24
Pasadena, CA 91125
phone : +1 626 395 2587
web :

Ante Soza

Autor: Ante Soza

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