Concept for a Lunar Array for Very Low Frequency Radio Astronomy

by Kenneth A. Marsh, Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, United States,
Michael J. Mahoney, Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, United States,
Thomas B. H. Kuiper, Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, United States,
Dayton L. Jones, Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


We discuss the design considerations relevant to a very low frequency array, to be deployed on the lunar near side during an early expedition. Such an array would operate in the frequency range 1-10 MHz, and would consist nominally of 20 antennas distributed over a region approximately 40 km in extent. Each antenna station would consist of a crossed-dipole antenna, together with a receiver, digitizer, solar cells, and batteries. In addition, the station will contain a UHF transmitter for relaying the digitized signal to a central station where it will be transmitted to Earth for subsequent processing, including cross-correlation with signals from other antennas. Each antenna station (including the central station) would be deployed as a self-contained unit, mounted on a miniature robotic vehicle. No fixed structures are required for the array.

Subject Headings: Antennas | Frequency distribution | Solar power | Batteries | Signal processing | Correlation | Moon | Aircraft and spacecraft

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