An evolutionary sequence of low frequency radio astronomy missions
A progression from simple, near-term experiments to Explorer-class dedicated missions to a large lunar faxside array is a natural way to develop the observational capabilities needed for radio astronomy at low frequencies. This continuous increase in mission capabilities and scientific return is similar to the progression of infrared and X-ray missions.
balloons, sounding rockets, and the Kuiper Airborne Observatory.
an Explorer class mission (IRAS).
a Great Observatory class mission (SIRTF). and similarly for X-ray missions:
balloons and sounding rockets.
It can be hoped that the initial “biggy-back” VLBI experiments on the Cluster and (possibly) Lunar Observer missions will be followed by a dedicated LF interferometry mission. The greatly increased observational capabilities of a mission like the LFSA (or a lunar array if that becomes practical) would open up a whole new range of scientific opportunities. It is an exciting prospect.
KeywordsLunar Surface Antenna Element Lunar Orbit High Dynamic Range Image Lunar Occultation
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