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The ALFA medium explorer mission

Jones, D.L. et al. (2000) The ALFA medium explorer mission. Advances in Space Research, 26 (4). 743 -746. ISSN 0273-1177 (doi:10.1016/S0273-1177(99)01204-1)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0273-1177(99)01204-1

Abstract

The frequency range below a few tens of MHz is unexplored with high angular resolution due to the opacity of Earth's ionosphere. An interferometer array in space providing arcminute angular resolution images at frequencies of a few MHz would allow a wide range of problems in solar, planetary, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy to be attacked. These include the evolution of solar radio emissions associated with shocks driven by coronal mass ejections and searches for coherent radio emission from supernova remnants and relativistic jets, in addition, it is likely that unexpected objects or emission processes will be discovered by such an instrument, as has always happened when high resolution astronomical observations first become possible in a new region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The Astronomical Low Frequency Array (ALFA) mission will consist of 16 identical small satellites forming an aperture synthesis array. The satellites will cover the surface of a spherical region approximate to 100 km in diameter, thus providing good aperture plane coverage in all directions simultaneously. The array will operate in two modes: 1) "snapshot" imaging of strong, rapidly changing sources such as solar radio bursts and 2) long-term aperture synthesis observations for maximum sensitivity, high dynamic range imaging, in both cases a large number of array elements is needed.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):UNSPECIFIED
Authors: Jones, D.L., Allen, R.J., Basart, J.P., Bastian, T., Blume, W.H., Bougeret, J.L., Dennison, B.K., Desch, M.D., Dwarakanath, K.S., Erickson, W.C., Farrell, W., Finley, D.G., Gopalswamy, N., Howard, R.E., Kaiser, M.L., Kassim, N.E., Kuiper, T.B.H., MacDowall, R.J., Mahoney, M.J., Perley, R.A., Preston, R.A., Reiner, M.J., Rodriguez, P., Stone, R.G., Unwin, S.C., Weiler, K.W., Woan, G., and Woo, R.
Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Advances in Space Research
ISSN:0273-1177

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