OLFAR: Nano-satellites for science

Steven Engelen, Alex Budianu, Raj Thilak Rajan, Chris J.M. Verhoeven, Mark Bentum

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    Earth-based radio astronomy is currently limited to frequencies of 30 MHz and higher, due to the influence of the ionosphere and Earth-based man-made interference. In order to breach this barrier, a space-based radio-telescope is required. This radio telescope is quite an impressive device, as a baseline of 100 km is required in order to achieve sufficient resolution, hence the most viable option would be to distribute this system into separate antennas. These can be combined, into a single virtual instrument. OLFAR’s approach [1] to this problem is to use a swarm of self-managed, self-organising nano-satellites, which is rather revolutionary, as no swarms of satellites have ever been flown, even for large satellites. Moreover, nano-satellites have currently hardly ever been used for real scientific uses; they are generally applied as technology demonstrators, and feasibility-study objects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConference Sense of Contact 2011
    Place of PublicationUtrecht
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2011
    Event13th Sensor Technology Conference Sense of Contact 2011 - Conferentiecentrum Woudschoten, Zeist, Netherlands
    Duration: 7 Apr 20117 Apr 2011
    Conference number: 13


    Workshop13th Sensor Technology Conference Sense of Contact 2011
    Other6 Apr 2011


    • Technology
    • Low-frequency radio astronomy
    • Nano-satellites
    • Swarm


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