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R. J. MacDowall, N. Gopalswamy, M. L. Kaiser, L. D. Demaio (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), S. D. Bale (U. California-Berkeley), R. E. Howard (Orbital Sciences Corp.), D. L. Jones (Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory), J. C. Kasper (Massachusetts Inst. of Technology), M. J. Reiner (Catholic University of America), K. W. Weiler (Naval Research Laboratory)
No present or approved spacecraft mission has the capability to provide high angular resolution imaging of solar or magnetospheric radio bursts or of the celestial sphere at frequencies below the ionospheric cutoff. In this presentation, we review a MIDEX-class mission to perform such imaging in the frequency range 30 kHz to 15 MHz. The focus of the mission, the Solar Imaging Radio Array (SIRA), is solar and exploration-oriented, with emphasis on improved understanding and application of radio bursts associated with solar energetic particle (SEP) events and on tracking shocks and other components of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). SIRA will require 12 to 16 micro-satellites to establish a sufficient number of baselines with separations on the order of kilometers. The constellation consists of microsats located quasi-randomly on a spherical shell, initially of radius 5 km. The baseline microsat is 3-axis stabilized with body-mounted solar arrays and an articulated, earth pointing high gain antenna. The constellation will likely be placed at L1, which is the preferred location for full-time solar observations. Detailed mission science and technology goals will be reviewed.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.