The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Green Bank Observatory is collaborating with the Raytheon Company to detect and characterize near-Earth asteroids in our solar system large enough to cause significant damage should they ever strike the Earth.
“Using the radio astronomy facilities of the National Science Foundation in these new research areas is incredibly exciting,” said Tony Beasley, Associated Universities Inc. Vice President for Radio Astronomy Operations, the management organization for Green Bank Observatory and the NRAO.
The Green Bank Telescope is the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope, able to observe 85% of the celestial sphere. This project will integrate a radar transmitter, utilizing a very low transmission power radar signal, into the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and use the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) as a receiver to provide sensitive and detailed radar images.
Over the years, the Green Bank Observatory has hosted similar projects using the 140-foot and 45-foot telescopes, sending calibration signals for scientific spacecraft operations.
The Green Bank Observatory and the VLBA are facilities of the National Science Foundation and are operated by Associated Universities, Inc.
Dr. Karen O’Neil
Site Director, Green Bank Observatory