C-Band Interferometer

The project involves the design and construction of a radioastronomical interferometer, which significantly enhances the angular resolution of observations in the celestial sphere, where the resolution depends on the distance between the antennas working in unison. The proposed system consists of three 3-meter diameter antennas forming a 20-meter per side triangle and a signal correlation and processing equipment for the signals received from the antennas, which can operate in frequency bands ranging from 1 GHz to 6.6 GHz (from L-Band to C-Band). For this project, our focus will be solely on the C-Band. An important feature is the portability of the system, allowing deployment at observation sites in the southern hemisphere and relocation for data validation in different locations.

The project includes the design of the positioning mechanics for both individual antennas and the entire instrument. Likewise, it involves the construction of the antenna reception chains.

Finally, the acquired signals will be processed at a central location, where they will undergo recording and post-processing, including signal correlation through software and external synchronization via a disciplined clock.

The scientific objective of this project is to create a detailed map of the C-Band reserved for radioastronomical studies, specifically regarding methanol, in the Southern Hemisphere sky. It is worth noting that this methodology could efficiently be applied to other frequencies of interest, such as hydrogen, hydroxyls, formaldehydes, etc. The instrument's location at a high southern latitude is recommended to enable continuous observations that compensate for sensitivity.

The project has the potential to yield scientific returns in astronomy and physics, allowing the generation of radiation maps in the mentioned frequency bands. Additionally, it develops techniques in mechanics, electronics, control, and software that will enable the implementation of a scalable interferometer for use with larger antennas in the future, potentially becoming part of the Very Long Baseline Interferometry Global Network.

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