A new version of the equipment developed in Brazil – Solar-T – will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) to measure solar eruptions. It is believed that Sun-THz, the name given to the new photometric telescope, will be launched in 2022 on one of the missions to the ISS and will remain there to take consistent measurements.
The photometric telescope operates at a frequency of 0.2 to 15 THz, which can only be measured from space. Alongside that, another telescope – HATS – will be installed in Argentina. This tool, which will be ready in 2020, will operate at a frequency of 15 THz on earth. HATS is being built as part of a thematic project led by Guillermo Gimenez de Castro, a professor at the CRAAM at Presbyterian University (UPM), a professor at the Macradio Astrophysical and Astrophysical Center.
The equipment is part of the theme presented during the session given by Gimenez de Castro at FAPESP Week London, February 11-12, 2019.
The researcher explained that sunbursts or eruptions are phenomena that appear on the surface of the Sun and cause high levels of radiation in the cosmic space.
Sun THz is an advanced version of Solar-T, a dual photometric telescope launched in 2016 by NASA in Antarctica in the stratospheric balloon that flew 12 days at an altitude of 40,000 meters.
Solar-T captures the energy emitted by solar eruptions at two unprecedented frequencies: from 3 to 7 Terzers (THz) that correspond to a remote infrared radiation segment. Solar-T was designed and built in Brazil by CRAAM researchers along with colleagues from the Center for Semiconductor Components at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP).
The development was possible thanks to the Thematic Project and the FAPESP Regular Research Grant. Chief investigator for both was Pierre Kaufman, CRAAM researcher and one of Brazil's radio astronomy pioneers who died in 2017.
The new equipment, with Kaufmann as one of its creators, will be the product of a partnership with the Lebedev Physics Institute in Russia.
"The idea now is to use a set of full-range meters from 0.2 THz to 15 THz," said Gimenez de Castro.
Most of the new photometric telescope will be built in Russia, but there will be parts manufactured in Brazil, such as the equipment that will be used to calibrate the entire instrument.
"The technology and concept behind the telescope have been developed here [in Brazil], The Russians liked the idea and reproduced it and added more elements. We are working on the latest technologies. Forty years ago, the most important thing about what can be done is 100 giggazers. With the results achieved over the years, we are looking for higher frequencies and prospects for the future are good, "said the researcher.
The future of the equipment is in the graphene sensors. Highly sensitive to terrestrial frequencies, graphone sensors can detect polarization and regulate electronically.
Currently, experiments are being carried out to create these detectors at the Center for Advanced Research on Graphite, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology (MackGraphe) at McKenzie Presbyterian University, funded by FAPESP.
The project also enjoys cooperation from the University of Glasgow as part of the doctoral work of Jordi Tuneu Serra, who is currently taking part in FAPESP-funded PhD studies abroad and also attending FAPESP Week London.
Fundacao de Amparo and Pesquisa to Estado de Sao Paulo