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The Astronomical Low-Frequency Array (ALFA)

  • D. L. Jones (a1), K. W. Weiler (a2), R. J. Allen (a3), M. M. Desch (a4), W. C. Erickson (a5), M. L. Kaiser (a4), N. E. Kassim (a2), T. B. H. Kuiper (a1), M. J. Mahoney (a1), K. A. Marsh (a1), R. A. Perley (a6), R. A. Preston (a1) and R. G. Stone (a4)...

Abstract

The ALFA mission is designed to map the entire sky at frequencies between approximately 0.3 and 30 MHz with angular resolution limited by interstellar and interplanetary scattering. Most of this region of the spectrum is inaccessible from the ground because of absorption and refraction by the Earth’s ionosphere. A wide range of astrophysical questions concerning solar system, galactic, and extragalactic objects could be answered with high resolution images at low frequencies, where absorption effects and coherent emission processes become important and the synchrotron lifetimes of electrons are comparable to the age of the universe.

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