A novel astronomical application for formation flying small satellites

Marinus Jan Bentum, C.J.M. Verhoeven, A.J. Boonstra, E.K.A. Gill, A.J. van der Veen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)
    73 Downloads (Pure)


    OLFAR, Orbiting Low Frequency Antennas for Radio Astronomy, will be a space mission to observe the universe frequencies below 30 MHz, as it was never done before with an orbiting telescope. Because of the ionospheric scintillations below 30 MHz and the opaqueness of the ionosphere below 15 MHz, a space mission is the only opportunity for this as yet unexplored frequency range in radio astronomy. The frequency band is scientifically very interesting for exploring the early cosmos at high hydrogen redshifts, the so-called dark-ages and the epoch of reionization, the discovery of planetary and solar bursts in other solar systems, for obtaining a tomographic view of space weather, ultra-high energy cosmic rays and for many other astronomical areas of interest. Because of the low observing frequency the aperture size of the instrument must be in the order of 100 km. This requires a distributed space mission which is proposed to be implemented using formation flying of small satellites. The individual satellites are broken down in five major subsystems: the spacecraft bus, the antenna design, the frontend, backend and data transport. One of the largest challenges is the inter-satellite communication. In this paper the concept and design considerations of OLFAR are presented.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publication60th International Astronautical Congress
    Place of PublicationDaejeon
    PublisherPress IAC
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)1995-6258
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2009
    Event60th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2009 - Daejeon, Korea, Republic of
    Duration: 12 Oct 200916 Oct 2009
    Conference number: 60

    Publication series

    PublisherPress IAC
    ISSN (Print)1995-6258


    Conference60th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2009
    Abbreviated titleIAC
    Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


    • METIS-264156
    • EWI-16521
    • IR-68514

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