ASTRON has demonstrated the capabilities of a 4 m2, dense phased array antenna (Bij de Vaate et al., 2002) for radio astronomy, as part of the Thousand Element Array project (ThEA). Although it proved the principle, a definitive answer related to the viability of the dense phased array approach for the SKA could not be given, due to the limited collecting area of the array considered. A larger demonstrator has therefore been defined, known as “Electronic Multi-Beam Radio Astronomy Concept”, EMBRACE, which will have an area of 625 m2, operate in the band 0.4–1.550 GHz and have at least two independent and steerable beams. With this collecting area EMBRACE can function as a radio astronomy instrument whose sensitivity is comparable to that of a 25-m diameter dish. The collecting area also represents a significant percentage area (∼10%) of an individual SKA “station.” This paper presents the plans for the realisation of the EMBRACE demonstrator.
dense arrays EMBRACE European demonstrator for SKA multi-beam phased arrays multiple fields of View (FOV) novel radio telescope concept