AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 76. Advanced Solar Space Missions and Ground-based Instruments
Solar, Display, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 10:00am-6:30pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[76.03] FASR - A Frequency-Agile Solar Radiotelescope

G.J. Hurford (UC Berkeley - NASA/GSFC), D.E. Gary (NJIT), T.S. Bastian (NRAO), S.M. White (U.Maryland)

The Frequency-Agile Solar Radiotelescope (FASR) is a multi-frequency imaging array designed specifically for imaging spectroscopy of the Sun. Using <~100 antennas, it will combine high-quality/high spatial resolution imaging (1" resolution at 20 GHz) with spectroscopy (d\nu/\nu ~ 0.01-0.03) and high time resolution (<1 s) across two decades in frequency from ~0.3-30 GHz. In so doing, it will produce a continuous, dynamic, three-dimensional picture of the solar atmosphere from the chromosphere through the mid-corona.

These capabilities represent a quantum leap beyond existing solar radio instruments, yet are well within reach of emerging technologies. The range of science that can be addressed by such an instrument is as broad as solar physics itself. Virtually every solar feature from within a few hundred km of the visible surface of the Sun to high in the solar corona can be studied in detail with the unique diagnostics available in the radio regime. Particular diagnostics include measuring the properties of both thermal and nonthermal electrons accelerated in solar flares from the largest events to the tiniest microflares/nanoflares, measuring coronal magnetic field strengths in active regions and elsewhere (coronal magnetography), and mapping kinetic electron temperatures throughout the chromosphere and corona. In addition, FASR's far-reaching exploration of the Sun in the radio regime gives the instrument tremendous potential for new discoveries beyond those that we can now anticipate.

FASR is expected to be one of the major new ground-based solar instruments of the next decade, and can be operational by 2006, well before the decade is out. It will play a major role in supporting NASA space missions with the unique diagnostics and perspective provided by high-resolution radio imaging/spectroscopy.

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