Because of its revolutionary design (incorporating phased arrays and electronic beam steering rather than mechanical pointing) and its large instantaneous field of view, LOFAR is well tailored to carrying out projects that require substantial amounts of telescope time. The design, development and construction of the facility have therefore been driven originally by four large key astronomical projects designed to pursue fundamental LOFAR science, of prime interest to the Dutch astronomical community. Recently, two new KSP projects have been initiated and established by an eager German astronomical community. By now, all KSPs have developed into international research groups that are contributing to the development of LOFAR.
The key science projects of LOFAR are: