2 May 2020

Neways Inside: UniBoard2 for the largest radio telescope in the world

At the end of April, the ASTRON foundation, based in Dwingeloo, awarded a tender for the supply of 328 UniBoard2 units to Neways Leeuwarden. The UniBoard2 makes the LOFAR radio telescope suitable for processing more and faster data. Neways has already performed the “Design for Experience” analyzes and is now allowed to produce and test these complex PCBAs. The total order value is 3 million Euro and the project will start in July 2020.

“The tender of the UniBoard2 was carried out in accordance with a careful European tendering procedure. In our assessment, Neways scored highest on both quality and price and has therefore received this order. In addition to the public process of the European tender, Neways has added value for ASTRON for this contract because they have already been successfully involved in the development of comparable complex boards ”, says Nico Ebbendorf, Competence Group Leader ASTRON.

The UniBoard2 is part of the digital upgrade project for LOFAR (DUPPLO) that has been awarded to ASTRON by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. This allows multiple forms of astronomical research to be conducted in parallel and related to each other. This opens up new possibilities for groundbreaking astronomical scientific research.

“We are proud to have received this order from Astron. UniBoard2 will make an important contribution to space exploration. A fantastic example of products using ‘Neways inside’ technology, said Eric Stodel, CEO Neways Electronics International.

The largest radio telescope in the world

The LOFAR telescope consists of a European network of radio antennas, connected by a high-speed fiber optic network in eight countries. LOFAR has been designed, built and is now managed by ASTRON (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy), with its core in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands. LOFAR combines the signals of more than 130,000 individual antenna dipoles and uses powerful computers to process the radio signals as if they were received with a ‘satellite dish’ with a diameter of almost 2000 kilometers. This allows multiple forms of astronomical research to be conducted in parallel and related to each other.

Pictures: ASTRON