Future of Earth’s Defense is Ground-based Planetary Radar

Green Bank Telescope will be largest fully steerable antenna in the world capable of transmitting radar signals for research

A new radar system being developed by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Green Bank Observatory will transmit powerful radar signals from the Green Bank Telescope (top right panel) and, in this illustration, bounce those signals off the Moon (middle right). The reflected signal can be received by antennas of the Very Long Baseline Array, in various locations across the U.S., Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands (bottom right). The combination of antennas acts as a giant, high-resolution radar imaging system.
Credit: Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF.

 

Powerful radar systems have played a major role in the study of planets, moons, asteroids, and other objects in our Solar System for several decades, and now have a “unique role” to play in planetary defense – “providing protection to the nations of the world from devastating asteroid and comet impacts,” according to the newly released Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Green Bank Observatory (GBO) are developing new capabilities for the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) that will make them key instruments for meeting this need.

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Green Bank hosts new telescope for CHIME

CHIME Outrigger telescopes boost search for fast radio bursts

CHIME’s new siblings will pinpoint bursts detected by Canada’s world-renowned telescope

The new CHIME outrigger at Green Bank is currently Foundations for the CHIME outrigger telescope under construction at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia. Photo credit: National Science Foundation/Green Bank Observatory.

In the quest to identify the origins of one of astronomy’s biggest mysteries – fast radio bursts (FRBs) – Canada’s world-renowned telescope, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), is getting backup.

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GBT & FAST reveal new origins of bright radio flashes in the Universe

Image credit NAOC, ScienceApe, CAS

Scientists using the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) have teamed up to shed light on the origin of the thousands of mysterious fast radio bursts that hit the Earth each day from locations far beyond the Milky Way.

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