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A Lunar Farside Low Radio Frequency Array for Dark Ages 21-cm Cosmology

Burns, Jack O. and Hallinan, Gregg and Chang, Tzu-Ching and Anderson, Marin and Bowman, Judd and Bradley, Richard and Furlanetto, Steven and Hegedus, Alex and Kasper, Justin and Kocz, Jonathan and Lazio, Joseph and Lux, Jim and MacDowall, Robert and Mirocha, Jordan and Nesnas, Issa and Pober, Jonathan and Polidan, Ronald and Rapetti, David and Romero-Wolf, Andrés and Slosar, Anže and Stebbins, Albert and Teitelbaum, Lawrence and White, Martin (2021) A Lunar Farside Low Radio Frequency Array for Dark Ages 21-cm Cosmology. . (Unpublished)

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An array of low-frequency dipole antennas on the lunar farside surface will probe a unique, unexplored epoch in the early Universe called the Dark Ages. It begins at Recombination when neutral hydrogen atoms formed, first revealed by the cosmic microwave background. This epoch is free of stars and astrophysics, so it is ideal to investigate high energy particle processes including dark matter, early Dark Energy, neutrinos, and cosmic strings. A NASA-funded study investigated the design of the instrument and the deployment strategy from a lander of 128 pairs of antenna dipoles across a 10 kmx10 km area on the lunar surface. The antenna nodes are tethered to the lander for central data processing, power, and data transmission to a relay satellite. The array, named FARSIDE, would provide the capability to image the entire sky in 1400 channels spanning frequencies from 100 kHz to 40 MHz, extending down two orders of magnitude below bands accessible to ground-based radio astronomy. The lunar farside can simultaneously provide isolation from terrestrial radio frequency interference, the Earth's auroral kilometric radiation, and plasma noise from the solar wind. It is thus the only location within the inner solar system from which sky noise limited observations can be carried out at sub-MHz frequencies. Through precision calibration via an orbiting beacon and exquisite foreground characterization, the farside array would measure the Dark Ages global 21-cm signal at redshifts z~35-200. It will also be a pathfinder for a larger 21-cm power spectrum instrument by carefully measuring the foreground with high dynamic range.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Burns, Jack O.0000-0002-4468-2117
Hallinan, Gregg0000-0002-7083-4049
Chang, Tzu-Ching0000-0001-5929-4187
Anderson, Marin0000-0003-2238-2698
Furlanetto, Steven0000-0002-0658-1243
Hegedus, Alex0000-0001-6247-6934
Kocz, Jonathan0000-0003-0249-7586
Lazio, Joseph0000-0002-3873-5497
MacDowall, Robert0000-0003-3112-4201
Slosar, Anže0000-0002-8713-3695
Group:Astronomy Department
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210520-150025348
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109228
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:24 May 2021 14:17
Last Modified:24 May 2021 14:17

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