Very Long Baseline Interferometric Observations Made with an Orbiting Radio Telescope

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Science  10 Oct 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4773, pp. 187-189
DOI: 10.1126/science.234.4773.187


An orbiting spacecraft and ground observatories have been used to obtain interferometric observations of cosmic radio sources. The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) was used as the orbiting observatory in conjunction with two 64- meter radio telescopes at ground observatories, one in Australia and one in Japan. The quasars 1730-130 (NRAO 530), 1510-089, and 1741-038 were observed at a frequency of 2.3 gigahertz, and a maximum projected baseline of 1.4 earth diameters was achieved. All quasar observations for which valid data were acquired resulted in detected fringes. Many of the techniques proposed for a dedicated very long baseline interferometry observatory in space were used successfully in this experiment.

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