AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 136 Long Wavelength Array
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[136.01] Charting the Last Electromagnetic Frontier with the Long Wavelength Array (LWA)

N.E. Kassim, T.E. Clarke, A.S. Cohen, P.C. Crane, K.K. Dyer (Naval Research Laboratory), T.L. Gaussiran (Applied Research Laboratories, U. Texas at Austin), C.A. Gross (Naval Research Laboratory), P.A. Henning (U. New Mexico), B.C. Hicks (Naval Research Laboratory), W. Junor (Los Alamos National Laboratory), W.M. Lane, T.J.W. Lazio, N. Paravastu (Naval Research Laboratory), Y.M. Pihlstrom (U. New Mexico), E. J. Polisensky, P.S. Ray, K.P. Stewart (Naval Research Laboratory), G.B. Taylor (U. New Mexico), K.W. Weiler (Naval Research Laboratory)

Nearly three decades ago, the Very Large Array (VLA) first opened the 1-20 GHz radio sky to detailed study. Today, a path-finding VLA 74 MHz system is providing the first sub-arcminute resolution view of the radio universe below 100 MHz, a technical innovation that has inspired an emerging suite of much more powerful low-frequency instruments. Similar in philosophy to the VLA and also located in New Mexico, the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) will be a versatile, user-oriented electronic array poised to open the 20--80 MHz frequency range to detailed exploration for the first time. With a collecting area of one million square meters, the LWA will be a square kilometer telescope whose milli-Jansky sensitivity and near-arcsecond resolution will surpass, by 2--3 orders of magnitude, the imaging power of previous interferometers in its frequency range. LWA scientific frontiers include (1) the high-z universe, including distant radio galaxies and clusters – tools for understanding the earliest black holes and the cosmological evolution of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, respectively; (2) acceleration, propagation, and turbulence in the ISM, including the space-distribution and spectrum of Galactic cosmic rays and supernova remnants; (3) planetary, solar, and space science, including space-weather prediction and extra-solar planet searches; and (4) the radio transient universe including GRBs, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, and new sources of unknown origin. Because the LWA will explore one of the most poorly investigated spectral regions the potential for new discoveries is high, and there is a strong synergy with exciting new X-ray and Gamma-ray measurements, e.g. for cosmic ray acceleration, transients, and galaxy clusters. The LWA will also provide an unparalleled measure of small-scale ionospheric turbulence, a pre-requisite for accurate calibration and imaging. Basic research in radio astronomy at the Naval Research Laboratory is supported by the Office of Naval Research.

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