We would like to share the wonderful news that our project proposal “Scientific and Technological Excellence by Leveraging LOFAR Advancements in Radio Astronomy” (STELLAR) to the H2020-WIDESPREAD-05-2020-Twinning program has been approved by the European Commission with funding of nearly 900 000 Euro!
The STELLAR project duration will be three years. Its main goal is to increase the capability of Bulgarian astronomers and radio engineers to work with the LOFAR telescope. The Institute of Astronomy and National Astronomical Observatory (IANAO) will serve as coordinator of the project. The Technical University of Sofia (TUS) will also participate from the Bulgarian side. The international partners on the project will be the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON). They will prepare and carry out a number of training events in the Netherlands, Ireland, and Bulgaria, for Bulgarian astronomers and engineers.
The STELLAR project is part of a long-term strategy of IANAO to develop modern radio astronomy in Bulgaria, by providing access to the newest pan-European and worldwide observational infrastructures. It will help the small but dynamic radio astronomical community in Bulgaria to obtain and develop the necessary skills and expertise for successfully building, maintaining, and exploiting a Bulgarian LOFAR station. Apart from the training events, the project will include the realization of three open summer schools in Bulgaria – in radio astronomy, space weather, and radio technologies. It is expected that the STELLAR project will begin in September 2020.