Roland Piquepaille writes "The LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) telescope is a new IT radio-telescope which will use about 20,000 simple radio antennae when it's completed in 2008. At this time, it will cover an area with a diameter of 360 kilometers centered over the Netherlands. Its small radio antennae will detect radio wavelengths up to 30 meters, and because the ionosphere can bend some of these radio waves, the Lofar images might be somewhat blurry. So all the information captured by these antennae will be digitized and sent to a computing facility at a rate of 22 terabits/second today, and almost 50 terabits/second in 2010. This is the reason why Lofar needs Stella, an IBM supercomputer installed recently in Groningen, also in the Netherlands, to process signals from up to 13 billion light years from Earth. Stella consists of 12,000 PowerPC microprocessors and has a computing power of 27.4 teraflops. This overview contains more details and a picture about the Lofar-Stella interaction."
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