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The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is now embarking on a major expansion of OVSA, funded by NSF using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. The project expands OVSA from its current complement of 7 antennas to a total of 15 by adding 8 new antennas, and replaces the existing control systems, wiring, and signal processing with modern, far more capable and reliable systems based on newly developing technology. In so doing, we will create a university-led community facility that will address a broad range of new science that will serve the scientific community. The project will support that community by providing open data access and software tools for analysis of the data, to exploit synergies with on-going solar research in other wavelength bands. The project will result in a world-class facility for scientific research at microwave radio frequencies (1-18 GHz) in areas of important national interest, such as understanding the Sun's influence on the Earth and near-Earth space environment—a subject broadly termed Space Weather. The solar science to be addressed focuses on the magnetic structure of the solar corona, on transient phenomena resulting from magnetic interactions, including the sudden release of energy and subsequent particle acceleration and heating, and on space weather phenomena. The project also includes an exciting program of targeted astronomical science. The non-solar science exploits the large amount of available observing time when the array is not used for solar work, to do search, follow-up, and monitoring of transient radio astronomical sources. The project will be completed in time to provide solar-dedicated observations during the upcoming solar maximum in 2013 and beyond.

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The range of science to be conducted with the Expanded OVSA is broad and unique. Check out the science page for more on each topic.

  • Magnetic and Plasma Structure Above Active Regions
    • Coronal Magnetography
    • Temperature, Density, Nonthermal Electrons
  • Flaring Loops and Particle Acceleration in Solar Flares
    • Electrons and Magnetic Fields in Flaring Loops
    • Dynamic Imaging and Turbulence
  • Drivers of Space Weather
    • F10.7 Images
    • Eruptive Events
  • Night-Time Observations of Variable and Transient Sources
    • Blazars
    • Long Duration Radio Transients (LDRTs)
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The OVSA Expansion calls for a complete redesign of the array, adding 8 new 2-m antennas, and moving the 5 existing 2-m antennas to new locations. These 13 antennas provide 78 baselines for imaging. The two 27-m antennas will be completely refurbished and modernized with new control systems and cooled receivers, for both night-time science and calibration of the array. The maximum baseline will grow to more than 1.5 km, for a typical resolution (varies by time of day and season) of about 60"/n GHz. The table at right summarizes the expected instrument parameters. Below are some highlights of the instrument specifications. These are subject to change as the design becomes more detailed during development.

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OVSA Expansion Project Instrument

OVSA Upgrade Specifications

Frequency range

1 – 18 GHz

Number of data channels

2 (dual polarization)

IF bandwidth

500 MHz per channel

Frequency resolution

Raw: 122 kHz (4096
spectral channels)
Science: ~50 MHz

Time resolution

Sample time: 20 ms
Full Sweep: 680 ms


Full Stokes (IQUV)

Number correlator inputs per data channel


Number and type of antennas

Five 2-m equatorial
Eight 2-m azel
Two 27-m equatorial (night-time and cal. only)

Angular resolution

57"/ n GHz × 51"/ n GHz

Array size

1.08 km EW x 1.22 km NS


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. AST-1312802. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Funding is also provided by a NASA Supporting Research & Technology grant NNX14AK66G.