OLFAR, a radio telescope based on nano satellites in moon orbit

S. Engelen, C.J.M. Verhoeven, Marinus Jan Bentum

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    It seems very likely that missions with nano-satellites in professional scientific or commercial applications will not be single-satellite missions. Well structured formations or less structured swarms of nano-satellites will be able to perform tasks that cannot be done in the “traditional‿ way. The Dutch space-born radio telescope project OLFAR, the Orbiting Low Frequency Array, is a good example of a typical “swarm task‿. The OLFAR radio telescope will be composed of an antenna array based on nano-satellites orbiting the moon to shield the receiving nodes from terrestrial interference. The array will receive frequencies in a band from around 30 kHz to 30 MHz. This frequency band is scientifically very interesting, since it will be able to detect signals originating from the yet unseen “Dark Ages‿ ranging from the Big Bang until around 400 million year after. Another science driver is the LF activity from (exo) planets. In this paper the design parameters for the satellites and the swarm will be given and status of the OLFAR project will be reported. Details will be given about the antenna system, the LF-receiver and the signals that are expected
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publication24th Annual Conference on Small Satellites
    Place of PublicationUtah, USA
    PublisherUtah State University
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)not assigned
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2010
    Event24th Annual Conference on Small Satellites 2010: Connecting the Dots: Bringing Visionaries, System Implementers and Mission Sponsors Together - Utah State University Taggart Student Center, Logan, United States
    Duration: 9 Aug 201012 Aug 2010

    Publication series

    PublisherUtah State University


    Conference24th Annual Conference on Small Satellites 2010
    Country/TerritoryUnited States


    • METIS-276196
    • EWI-19016
    • IR-75270

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