Calibration approach of the OLFAR space based radio telescope

Pieter Karel Anton van Vugt, A. Budianu, Arjan Meijerink, Marinus Jan Bentum

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

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)


    In recent years, science drivers have emerged for radio astronomy in the frequency range between 0.3 and 30 MHz. Due to strong man-made radio frequency interference (RFI) and opacity and scintillation in the ionosphere, this is not possible on Earth. For this reason the Orbiting Low-Frequency Antennas for Radio Astronomy (OLFAR) project aims to develop a space-based radio telescope, consisting of 50 or more nano-satellites in a location far away from Earth. These satellites will be flying in a swarm approximately 100 km in diameter to synthesize a large radio aperture. As with any radio telescope, OLFAR will need to be calibrated. However the satellite swarm concept brings along several unique challenges for the calibration, which are outlined in this paper. An approach is proposed for the calibration using known calibrator sources and an alternating least squares (ALS) approach which solves for the complex receiver gains, the array response matrix, direction dependent antenna gains towards the calibrator sources and the receiver noise power. This paper provides proof of concept of the proposed calibration approach by means of Monte Carlo simulations.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 65th International Astronautical Congress (IAC2014)
    Place of PublicationParis
    PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)not assigned
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2014
    Event65th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2014 - Toronto, Canada
    Duration: 29 Sep 20143 Oct 2014
    Conference number: 65

    Publication series

    PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation


    Conference65th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2014
    Abbreviated titleIAC


    • EWI-25629
    • IR-94001
    • METIS-309849

    Cite this