Dale Gary

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.