Low Frequency Radio Astronomy from Earth or Lunar Orbit

by Jack O. Burns, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, United States,
John P. Basart, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, United States,
Bernard M. McCune, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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

Abstract:

Acquiring data at low frequencies is complicated by the fact that the ionosphere strongly disturbs the data, especially for high-resolution ground-based telescopes. The most viable observational alternative for frequencies below 30 MHz is to place an interferometer into Earth or lunar orbit. For reasonable orbits and observation times, very high quality radio images can be obtained. Telescopes on two satellites in orthogonal orbits sufficiently sweep out the (u, v) plane to create a low side lobe synthesized beam. Maps produced by an orbiting interferometer would vastly exceed maps available today, and would provide a significant leap in the science of low-frequency radio astronomy.



Subject Headings: Moon | Orbits | Mapping | Beams | Satellites | Measuring instruments | Astronomy | Telescopes

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