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Proceedings Paper

Space situational awareness applications for radio astronomy assets
Author(s): Galen Watts; John M. Ford; H. Alyson Ford
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Paper Abstract

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) builds, operates, and maintains a suite of premier radio antennas, including the 100m aperture Green Bank Telescope, the largest fully-steerable antenna in the world. For more than five decades the NRAO has focused on astrophysics, providing researchers with the most advanced instruments possible: large apertures, extremely low-noise receivers, and signal processors with high frequency and time resolution. These instruments are adaptable to Space Situational Awareness (SSA) tasks such as radar detection of objects in near-Earth and cis-Lunar space, high accuracy orbit determination, object surveillance with passive methods, and uplink and downlink communications. We present the capabilities of antennas and infrastructure at the NRAO Green Bank Observatory in the context of SSA tasks, and discuss what additions and modifications would be necessary to achieve SSA goals while preserving existing radio astronomy performance. We also discuss how the Green Bank Observatory’s surrounding topography and location within the National Radio Quiet Zone will enhance SSA endeavors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2015
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 9469, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications VIII, 94690N (22 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177235
Show Author Affiliations
Galen Watts, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)
John M. Ford, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)
H. Alyson Ford, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9469:
Sensors and Systems for Space Applications VIII
Khanh D. Pham; Genshe Chen, Editor(s)

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