Science Use Cases

Planetary Surfaces

  - range <=1.5 AU (inner solar system and  Moon; no Venus) 

  - orbital velocity up to 60 km/s during tracking

  - sub-meter to meters down to 100s meter resolution

Example: GBT prototype-VLBA (Ku multistatic) observation - Tycho crater’s floor polygonal structures at 5 m/pixel, penetration depth of 10x𝝺 ~20 cm.

GBT prototype-VLBA (Ku multistatic)
Credit (Raytheon Technologies) 


Planetary Structure and Spin Studies 

  - range <=1.5 AU (inner solar system; Venusthreshold i.e. `Radar speckle tracking’ X band (3.5 cm, 8.56 GHz)

  - orbital velocity up to 60 km/s during tracking

  - non-imaging

Example: GSSR DSS14 -GBT (X multistatic) - Venus’ radar echoes detected at two stations which occasionally lie in the plane of Venus’ equator (Sept 8, 2020 -  J. Margot et al. 2021).

GSSR DSS14 -GBT (X multistatic)


Near-Earth Objects (NEO’s) and Comets 

   - range <= 0.3 AU

   - orbital velocity up to 42 km/s during tracking 

   - time critical/turn-around response

  - meter to submeter resolution

Example: GSSR DSS-14-GBT (X bistatic) 2003 SD220 > 2 km long, rotation period ~12 days, resolution is 3.75 m/pixel

GSSR DSS-14-GBT (X bistatic) 2003 SD220