DISTURB, which stands for Disturbance-detection by Intelligent Solar radio Telescope of (Un)perturbed Radio-frequency Bands, is a system that will monitor radio emissions from the sun to detect Solar Radio Bursts.
These are strong radio emission related to solar flares and these emissions can interfere with technology on Earth. All technology that relies on radio signals can be disturbed (pun intended), such as radar systems, satellite navigation and satellite communications. Although this can be inconvenient for consumers (try navigating Almere without satnav), but can be critical for instance defence operations, or aviation.
During the DISTURB project we designed a system that can monitor the sun 24/7* and automatically send out warnings if solar interference is detected. This involved coming up with (amongst many other things) new antenna concepts based on technology developed for astronomy, and automatic data analysis methods. The design was reviewed by an external board of experts and ultimately delivered to the customer (the Dutch Ministry of Defence).
On the 25th of September 2020 we had the final presentation. We invite a select group of Defence personnel to Drenthe, where we presented our ideas, and we toured the facilities of LOFAR and Astron. Right now we are preparing for the next phase of the project, which will be to build an actual prototype of the system.
If you want to know a bit more, you can check a real scientific newspaper (yes, we made the front page), take a look at Astron, or ask Edo Loenen, our Product Manager Decision Support Solutions.
Do you want to work on projects like this?=>