OLFAR - Orbiting Low Frequency Antennas for Radio astronomy

Marinus Jan Bentum, Chris Verhoeven, Albert Jan Boonstra

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

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    Abstract

    New interesting astronomical science drivers for very low frequency radio astronomy have emerged, ranging from studies of the astronomical dark ages, the epoch of reionization, exoplanets, to ultra-high energy cosmic rays. Huge efforts are currently made to establish low frequency Earthbound instruments, since today’s technology is able to support this. However, astronomical observations with Earth-bound radio telescopes at very low frequencies are hampered by the ionospheric plasma, which scatters impinging celestial radio waves. This effect is larger at lower frequencies. Below about 5 MHz at night or about 10 MHz during daytime, the ionosphere is even opaque for radio waves. That means that Earth-bound radio astronomy observations in those bands would be severely limited in sensitivity and spatial resolution, or would be entirely impossible. A radio telescope in space would not be hampered by the Earths ionosphere, but up to now such a telescope was technologically and financially not feasible. However, extrapolation of current technological advancements in signal processing and small satellite systems imply that distributed low frequency radio telescopes in space could be feasible. We propose an autonomous distributed sensor system in space to explore this new low-frequency band for radio astronomy. The array will have identical elements (satellites), and ideally no central processing system. An advantage of such a system is that it is highly scalable and, due to the distributed nature, virtually insensitive to failure or non-availability of a fraction of its components. In this paper we present this novel concept of OLFAR, the orbiting low frequency antennas for radio astronomy in space.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publication20th Annual Workshop on Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, ProRISC 2009
    Place of PublicationUtrecht
    PublisherTechnology Foundation
    Pages1-6
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)978-90-73461-62-8
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2009
    Event20th Annual Workshop on circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, Prorisc 2009 - Veldhoven, Netherlands
    Duration: 26 Nov 200927 Nov 2009
    Conference number: 20

    Publication series

    Name
    PublisherTechnology Foundation

    Conference

    Conference20th Annual Workshop on circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, Prorisc 2009
    CountryNetherlands
    CityVeldhoven
    Period26/11/0927/11/09

    Keywords

    • METIS-264309
    • EWI-17153
    • IR-69540

    Cite this

    Bentum, M. J., Verhoeven, C., & Boonstra, A. J. (2009). OLFAR - Orbiting Low Frequency Antennas for Radio astronomy. In 20th Annual Workshop on Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, ProRISC 2009 (pp. 1-6). Utrecht: Technology Foundation.
    Bentum, Marinus Jan ; Verhoeven, Chris ; Boonstra, Albert Jan. / OLFAR - Orbiting Low Frequency Antennas for Radio astronomy. 20th Annual Workshop on Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, ProRISC 2009. Utrecht : Technology Foundation, 2009. pp. 1-6
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    title = "OLFAR - Orbiting Low Frequency Antennas for Radio astronomy",
    abstract = "New interesting astronomical science drivers for very low frequency radio astronomy have emerged, ranging from studies of the astronomical dark ages, the epoch of reionization, exoplanets, to ultra-high energy cosmic rays. Huge efforts are currently made to establish low frequency Earthbound instruments, since today’s technology is able to support this. However, astronomical observations with Earth-bound radio telescopes at very low frequencies are hampered by the ionospheric plasma, which scatters impinging celestial radio waves. This effect is larger at lower frequencies. Below about 5 MHz at night or about 10 MHz during daytime, the ionosphere is even opaque for radio waves. That means that Earth-bound radio astronomy observations in those bands would be severely limited in sensitivity and spatial resolution, or would be entirely impossible. A radio telescope in space would not be hampered by the Earths ionosphere, but up to now such a telescope was technologically and financially not feasible. However, extrapolation of current technological advancements in signal processing and small satellite systems imply that distributed low frequency radio telescopes in space could be feasible. We propose an autonomous distributed sensor system in space to explore this new low-frequency band for radio astronomy. The array will have identical elements (satellites), and ideally no central processing system. An advantage of such a system is that it is highly scalable and, due to the distributed nature, virtually insensitive to failure or non-availability of a fraction of its components. In this paper we present this novel concept of OLFAR, the orbiting low frequency antennas for radio astronomy in space.",
    keywords = "METIS-264309, EWI-17153, IR-69540",
    author = "Bentum, {Marinus Jan} and Chris Verhoeven and Boonstra, {Albert Jan}",
    year = "2009",
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    day = "27",
    language = "Undefined",
    isbn = "978-90-73461-62-8",
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    Bentum, MJ, Verhoeven, C & Boonstra, AJ 2009, OLFAR - Orbiting Low Frequency Antennas for Radio astronomy. in 20th Annual Workshop on Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, ProRISC 2009. Technology Foundation, Utrecht, pp. 1-6, 20th Annual Workshop on circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, Prorisc 2009, Veldhoven, Netherlands, 26/11/09.

    OLFAR - Orbiting Low Frequency Antennas for Radio astronomy. / Bentum, Marinus Jan; Verhoeven, Chris; Boonstra, Albert Jan.

    20th Annual Workshop on Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, ProRISC 2009. Utrecht : Technology Foundation, 2009. p. 1-6.

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

    TY - GEN

    T1 - OLFAR - Orbiting Low Frequency Antennas for Radio astronomy

    AU - Bentum, Marinus Jan

    AU - Verhoeven, Chris

    AU - Boonstra, Albert Jan

    PY - 2009/11/27

    Y1 - 2009/11/27

    N2 - New interesting astronomical science drivers for very low frequency radio astronomy have emerged, ranging from studies of the astronomical dark ages, the epoch of reionization, exoplanets, to ultra-high energy cosmic rays. Huge efforts are currently made to establish low frequency Earthbound instruments, since today’s technology is able to support this. However, astronomical observations with Earth-bound radio telescopes at very low frequencies are hampered by the ionospheric plasma, which scatters impinging celestial radio waves. This effect is larger at lower frequencies. Below about 5 MHz at night or about 10 MHz during daytime, the ionosphere is even opaque for radio waves. That means that Earth-bound radio astronomy observations in those bands would be severely limited in sensitivity and spatial resolution, or would be entirely impossible. A radio telescope in space would not be hampered by the Earths ionosphere, but up to now such a telescope was technologically and financially not feasible. However, extrapolation of current technological advancements in signal processing and small satellite systems imply that distributed low frequency radio telescopes in space could be feasible. We propose an autonomous distributed sensor system in space to explore this new low-frequency band for radio astronomy. The array will have identical elements (satellites), and ideally no central processing system. An advantage of such a system is that it is highly scalable and, due to the distributed nature, virtually insensitive to failure or non-availability of a fraction of its components. In this paper we present this novel concept of OLFAR, the orbiting low frequency antennas for radio astronomy in space.

    AB - New interesting astronomical science drivers for very low frequency radio astronomy have emerged, ranging from studies of the astronomical dark ages, the epoch of reionization, exoplanets, to ultra-high energy cosmic rays. Huge efforts are currently made to establish low frequency Earthbound instruments, since today’s technology is able to support this. However, astronomical observations with Earth-bound radio telescopes at very low frequencies are hampered by the ionospheric plasma, which scatters impinging celestial radio waves. This effect is larger at lower frequencies. Below about 5 MHz at night or about 10 MHz during daytime, the ionosphere is even opaque for radio waves. That means that Earth-bound radio astronomy observations in those bands would be severely limited in sensitivity and spatial resolution, or would be entirely impossible. A radio telescope in space would not be hampered by the Earths ionosphere, but up to now such a telescope was technologically and financially not feasible. However, extrapolation of current technological advancements in signal processing and small satellite systems imply that distributed low frequency radio telescopes in space could be feasible. We propose an autonomous distributed sensor system in space to explore this new low-frequency band for radio astronomy. The array will have identical elements (satellites), and ideally no central processing system. An advantage of such a system is that it is highly scalable and, due to the distributed nature, virtually insensitive to failure or non-availability of a fraction of its components. In this paper we present this novel concept of OLFAR, the orbiting low frequency antennas for radio astronomy in space.

    KW - METIS-264309

    KW - EWI-17153

    KW - IR-69540

    M3 - Conference contribution

    SN - 978-90-73461-62-8

    SP - 1

    EP - 6

    BT - 20th Annual Workshop on Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, ProRISC 2009

    PB - Technology Foundation

    CY - Utrecht

    ER -

    Bentum MJ, Verhoeven C, Boonstra AJ. OLFAR - Orbiting Low Frequency Antennas for Radio astronomy. In 20th Annual Workshop on Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, ProRISC 2009. Utrecht: Technology Foundation. 2009. p. 1-6