The International LOFAR telescope (ILT) is an innovative all-electronic distributed array radio telescope centred in the Netherlands but with elements in Germany, UK, France and Sweden. The ILT will explore at unprecedented sensitivity and resolution one of the last open frontiers of the electromagnetic spectrum at wavelengths from 1.5m to 15m. The ILT is a pathfinder instrument for the low frequency end of the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Key science projects for LOFAR include mapping the Epoch or Reionisation in the redshifted atomic hydrogen line, extragalactic and galactic surveys in total power and polarisation, detecting cosmic rays by radio methods, transients and solar physics/space weather
The Swedish LOFAR station is located at and is managed by Onsala Space Observatory. In the early years access to the ILT will be mostly via guaranteed time earned to national partners in return for their investments. LOFAR-Sweden is one of several national consortia formed to promote the use of LOFAR in their countries and to distribute guaranteed national observing time.
The ILT is presently in the final stages of construction/commissioning. The timing of the first call for proposals depends on the rate of progress with commissioning but is likely to be toward the end of 2011/start of 2012.