Radars in NEOs' science: Goldstone and Arecibo
by Livia Giacomini - Copyright Tumbling Stone 2001

The use of Radars in the study of asteroids began with the detection of 1566 Icarus in 1968.
Delay-doppler imaging with enough resolution to perform physically detailed modeling of asteroids first occurred in 1989, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on 4769 Castalia. Today, there are only two radars in the world that can make a delay-Doppler image of an asteroid.

 

The NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar (see http://wireless.jpl.nasa.gov/radar/)

The NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar, situated in California, is part of the Deep Space Network. The radar is made of two dishes : DSS-14, the largest dish of 70 meters and the second DSS-13. The Radar woks at 8510 MHz, transmitting 500 kW. Reception can be performed by both of the two dishes, making it possible to use this radar in bistatic mode.

photo courtesy NASA

 

The Arecibo Radar Telescope (see http://www.naic.edu/open.htm)

The Arecibo Radar Telescope is operated by NAIC. The 30 m fixed antenna represented is near Arecibo (Puerto Rico). It transmits 1MW at 2380 MHz. It mainly operates in monostatic mode but it can also work in bistatic mode, with the NRAO's Greenbank antenna.

photo courtesy NAIC

 

 

Back to
special issue