Orbiting low frequency array for radio astronomy

Rai Thilak Rajan, Steven Engelen, Mark Bentum, Chris Verhoeven

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

    46 Citations (Scopus)
    15 Downloads (Pure)


    Recently new and interesting science drivers have emerged for very low frequency radio astronomy from 0.3 MHz to 30 MHz. However Earth bound radio observations at these wavelengths are severely hampered by ionospheric distortions, man made interference, solar flares and even complete reflection below 10 MHz. OLFAR is Orbiting Low Frequency ARray, a project whose aim is to develop a detailed system concept for space based very low frequency large aperture radio interferometric array observing at these very long wavelengths. The OLFAR cluster could either orbit the moon, whilst sampling during the Earth-radio eclipse phase, or orbit the Earth-moon L2 point, sampling almost continuously or Earth-trailing and leading orbit. The aim of this paper is to present the technical requirements for OLFAR and first order estimates of data rates for space based radio astronomy based on the proposed scalable distributed correlator model. The OLFAR cluster will comprise of autonomous flight units, each of which is individually capable of inter satellite communication and down-link. The down-link data rate is heavily dependent on distance of the cluster from Earth and thus the deployment location of OLFAR, which are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2011 IEEE Aerospace Conference
    Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4244-7351-9
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4244-7350-2, 978-1-4244-7349-6 (CD)
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2011
    Event2011 IEEE Aerospace Conference - Big Sky Resort, Big Sky, United States
    Duration: 5 Mar 201112 Mar 2011

    Publication series

    NameAerospace Conference
    ISSN (Print)1095-323X


    Conference2011 IEEE Aerospace Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityBig Sky


    • n/a OA procedure


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