Birr gets new telescope funding

Birr gets new telescope funding

Birr’s scientific tradition is being carried on today in the form of a €1.4m grant to build a new low frequency array telescope providing an excellent boost to the region.

The Radio telescope will be built within the grounds of Birr Castle and should provide not only an educational boost, but also a boost to the local tourist industry.

Alongside the scientific benefits, there will also be the possibility to improve broadband speeds across the region meaning locals will also have greater options when it comes to watching TV and browsing the internet – the increased speeds will mean that using an Android TV Box would be an option, as well as using services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime – often not possible on slower connections.

The announcement is excellent news for both the local region and Ireland as a whole, ensuring Ireland will be competetive when it comes to scientific discoveries and the technology available to scientists within the area.

The 1.4m grant is part of a larger €28m funding being distributed throughout the science and research project areas in Ireland, and is expected to provide a significant boost to the local economy.

The telescope will be part of the “LOFAR” or Low Frequency Array, a €150 million network of radio telescopes that is being deployed across Europe, with stations in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, France, Poland and the UK.

Construction is expected to start this year and will add Birr as one of the LOFAR stations which are helping us understand the universe.

The construction will be carried out in full by Ireland based universities and contractors, keeping the funding local.