New Jersey Institute of Technology
Exploiting Microwave Imaging Spectroscopy for Advances in Solar Astrophysics
The key to addressing the vast range of astrophysical problems presented by
our nearest star is to fully exploit every available wavelength regime.
Advances in spatial and spectral resolution and imaging cadence of solar
spacecraft and groundbased instruments have begun to reveal the fundamental
scales of interest in optical, infrared and extreme ultraviolet wavelengths.
Soft and hard X-ray observations, too, have seen significant advances in
recent years. Advances in the microwave radio regime, in contrast, have not
kept pace despite the unique value of microwave spectra for measuring
fundamental physical properties of the Sun and solar activity. In this talk
I describe the ways in which microwave, decimeter, and meter wave imaging
spectroscopy can be exploited to revolutionize our understanding of the Sun,
and discuss our efforts toward building a new, solar-dedicated radio
facility called the Frequency Agile Solar Radiotelescope (FASR). FASR is
one of the projects ranked as high priority by the recent Astro2010 decadal
survey, and was deemed ready for a new start immediately. A project of
roughly 10% of the size of FASR, an expansion of the Owens Valley Solar
Array (OVSA), has just been funded by NSF, and will be completed by 2013.
The advances we can expect from the OVSA Expansion and FASR will be
described, as well as our contributions to technology development for other
future radio instruments.