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Wikipedia's Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) includes the image below with the caption:

The LOFAR core ("superterp") near Exloo, Netherlands. The bridges give an idea of the scale.

Question: Why is it called "The LOFAR 'superterp'"? What is a terp, and what's so super about this one?

B. W. Stappers et al. (2011) Observing pulsars and fast transients with LOFAR may offer clues:

A schematic diagram of some of the LOFAR stations in the inner core of LOFAR − the “Superterp” as it is known − is shown in Figure 1.

Fig. 1. Three successive zoom-outs showing the stations in the LOFAR core. The different scales of the hierarchically organised
HBA elements are highlighted and their respective beam sizes are shown. The large circular area marks the edge of the Superterp,
which contains the inner-most 6 stations...

Fig. 1. Three successive zoom-outs showing the stations in the LOFAR core. The different scales of the hierarchically organised HBA elements are highlighted and their respective beam sizes are shown. The large circular area marks the edge of the Superterp, which contains the inner-most 6 stations (i.e. 12 HBA sub-stations: where there are 2 sub-stations, each of 24 tiles, in each HBA core station); other core stations can be seen highlighted beyond the Superterp in the third panel. Left: a single HBA tile and associated beam. Middle: A single HBA sub-station with three simultaneous station beams. Right: The 6 stations of the Superterp plus 3 core stations in the background are highlighted. Four independent beams formed from the coherent combination of all 24 core HBA stations, most of which are outside this photo, are shown. For the LBA stations, a similar scheme applies except that each LBA dipole can effectively see the whole sky. Fields of the relatively sparsely distributed LBA antennas are visible in between the highlighted HBA stations in all three panels.


The LOFAR 'superterp'. This is part of the core of the extended telescope located near Exloo, Netherlands.

Source: File:LOFAR Superterp.jpg

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    $\begingroup$ Because it looks a bit like a turtle? My wife was/is a Terp. Obviously not an answer. $\endgroup$ Feb 27 at 7:06
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    $\begingroup$ Trans-Exclusionary Radical Pfluggerhagen $\endgroup$ Feb 28 at 12:10

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Terp is a Frisan and Dutch word meaning a low artificial hill for shelter during a high tide. See Wikipedia. Before dykes were built, farmstead were built on terpen to protect them from the frequent floods.

This is super because it is so much bigger than the small terpen that Frisian farmers would make to be safe from floods.

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  • $\begingroup$ Excellent! Well done. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Feb 27 at 11:19

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