Instrumentation Location Diversity Paradigm for Future Astronomy Observations
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Capital constrained organizations desiring to conduct astronomy observations face significant challenges due to the high cost of acquiring telescopes and computing facilities. Approaches such as re-using discarded earth stations can reduce telescope acquisition costs. In addition, an increasing population also reduces land suitability and availability for establishing radio quiet zones. These challenges affect the ability of capital constrained astronomy organizations in high population density regions to conduct astronomy observations. This paper proposes the use of drones to address these challenges. Drone based telescopes and computing systems in the airspace are less reliant on land resources. They can be used to conduct astronomy observations in high population regions. The paper presents the architecture of the drone based astronomy system and discusses relations between the drone and terrestrial astronomy systems. The performance benefits of the proposed architecture are investigated by formulating a model and conducing numerical simulation. It can be seen that using the proposed architecture reduces ownership costs by up to 51.2% on average and improves the power efficiency by up to 33% on average. In addition, the use of the proposed drone based telescope architecture enhances the angular resolution by 74.3% on average.
KeywordsLow cost astronomy High performance computing facilities Drones Stratospheric platforms Satellite
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