BDA – Brazilian Decimetric Array

The Brazilian Decimetric Array (BDA) is a radio interferometer that employs cost-effective modern techniques of interferometry in the radio band (1.2 to 1.7, 2.8 and 5.6 GHz). The five prototype antennas installed at INPE, Cachoeira Paulista, are already in operation since late 2004. This is a fast imaging (~ 10 frames per second) in 2007 had its Phase II development as approved by FAPESP Thematic Project. At the end of this phase, scheduled for 2009, 26 antennas of 4 m in diameter, distributed in a configuration in a “T”, with baselines of 252 I 162 m respectively in directions east-west and south, will be providing pictures Sun in the frequency range mentioned above, with a spatial resolution of 45 arcsec at 5.6 GHz.

In its final form, the arrangement will consist of 38 identical antennas, distributed over baselines of approximately 2km x 1km, respectively in directions east-west and south, high sensitivity – up to ~ 0.1 Jy / beam for 10 minutes integration – enabling resolutions of up to 5 arcsec at 5.6 GHz This is the only radio-heliograph of the South West dedicated to image the solar atmosphere, which will enable prediction of the onset of firing of CMEs, energetic particles of “flares” and solar wind. With the images of BDA active regions, coronal holes and “flares” and using the spectral tomography technique for analysis of coronal arches, you can make a 3D reconstruction of coronal magnetic arches in “real” time for the diagnosis and prognosis of solar activity.

This is done by processing, visualization and analysis of solar images recorded by the BDA in high performance computing system, already in operation, consisting of a “cluster” of 32 Xeon 2.4 GHz, two stations – one administration and one access – and a parallel machine based on DSP (Digital Signal Processors).

This system has been successfully tested for solar images X-ray satellite Yohkoh and shall be generated tens of Gbit / day data. The simultaneous operation of both the BDA and the BSS and temporal resolution of about 10 sets of data per second, in the spectrum and provide dynamic real-time solar phenomena that occur in the upper chromosphere and lower corona with potential application for announcements of alerts and the processes of diagnosis and prognosis of Space Weather.

It should be emphasized that the operational nature of time “real” instruments and uninterrupted calls as part of its infrastructure, connection to a computer network stable and high speed, and a sufficient number of operators of the instruments. For connection of the instruments, there is a network Kyatera (FAPESP) who might be established to connect the various instruments of the program. The feasibility of using this network must be evaluated and may not be used if an alternative should be studied.