Planetary Defense & Science Will Advance With New Radar on Green Bank Telescope

With less power than a microwave, prototype produced highest resolution images of Moon ever captured from Earth

With a transmitter less powerful than a microwave oven, a team of scientists and engineers used the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) to make the highest-resolution radar images of the Moon ever collected from the ground, paving the way for a next-generation radar system to study planets, moons, and asteroids in the Solar System.

A Synthetic Aperture Radar image of the Moon’s Tycho Crater, showing 5-meter resolution detail. (click images above for full view) Image credit Raytheon Technologies.

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The Green Bank Telescope & planetary radar: shining light on our nearest neighbors

The Green Bank Telescope plays an integral role in Next Generation radar astronomy.

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The Green Bank Telescope & Next Generation RADAR

The Next Generation Radar program (ngRADAR) is a collaboration between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), Green Bank Observatory (GBO), and Raytheon Space & Intelligence. Together they will create an active radar system for GBO’s 100-meter Green Bank Telescope (GBT) using the latest solid-state technology. For twenty years, Green Bank Observatory’s 100-meter radio telescope has studied the radio sky. It has made amazing discoveries, from seeing the vast molecular clouds that surround distant galaxies, to mapping the magnetic fields around the Orion Nebula. The ngRADAR program will further expand the capabilities of the GBT.

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