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Published August 17, 2023 | Accepted Version
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A Transcontinental Radio Telescope: Study for a Very Long Baseline Array


The concept of a new multi-station array for radio astronomy, with transcontinental or even intercontinental dimensions, dates from the early 1970's when very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) began to expand into multi-station operation. In 1975 the informal arrangement known as the Network of Existing Telescopes was formed to coordinate multi-station VLBI. The shortcomings of that Network were apparent even at its founding, and in 1977 a study for a new dedicated array was published [E-213]*. Since that time there has been a substantial growth in the art of VLBI, and in its scientific horizons. This Study was conceived as a fresh look at the Array, and at the possibilities for its implementation. In general, it was possible to make accurate estimates of cost since nearly the entire system is the same as equipment which already exists. Very little development work is needed to build the Array. Nonetheless, it must be recognized that all budgets in this Study are preliminary. The budgets do not imply that final construction will be carried out at these levels, but they are appropriate for long-range planning. This Study was made possible by a grant from the President's Fund of the California Institute of Technology, and is a joint effort between the Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory {JPL). Much of the U.S. VLBI community has also been involved.

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August 19, 2023
February 10, 2024