DISTURB-1: a solar spectrograph design

© © 2020 Michiel Brentjens (ASTRON)

DISTURB (Disturbance-detection by Intelligent Solar radio Telescope of (Un)pertur-bed Radiofrequency Bands) is a proposed broadband (3 MHz to 3 GHz continous), sunrise-to-sunset monitor of the solar radio spectrum. Because bright solar radio outbursts can severely impact radio communications and RADAR, both the Dutch military, and KNMI (who warns the Dutch vital sectors of relevant space weather events) are highly interested in having such a service available. Because ASTRON and S&T (a company in Delft we know very well) have a lot of experience making intelligent (phased array) systems, ASTRON, S&T, and KNMI received funding from the National Technology Project fund — administered by the Dutch Ministry of Defense — to make a concept design: DISTURB-1.

The image shows the preliminary design. We need five antenna systems to measure the entire band: modified LOFAR LBA antennas (left, 3—90 MHz), modified LOFAR HBA antennas (front, 80—260 MHz), newly developed antennas (nearby on the processing container, 220—680 MHz), SKA MFAA Vivaldis (on the slanted post, 560—1700 MHz), and a newly developed conformal array (the sphere on the far side of the container, 1600—3000 MHz).

Today the DISTURB consortium hosts representatives of the Dutch military to formally close DISTURB's design phase, and to inform them of our plans for a full-scale prototype station to be constructed in the next few years, leading up to solar maximum in 2025—2026.

Submitter: Michiel Brentjens

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