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On the Possibility of Obtaining Radar Echoes from the Sun and Planets

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1 Author(s)
F. J. Kerr ; Division of Radiophysics, CSIRO, Sydney, Australia

The sun is, after the moon, the simplest major astronomical body to reach by radar, and it is a more interesting object for study than the moon or the planets. In this paper, the process of reflection from the sun is investigated theoretically, together with the manner in which the echo intensity would be expected to depend on the various parameters of a radar system. It is shown that the detection of sun echoes appears technically possible, but a radio-engineering project of considerable magnitude is involved. Orders of magnitude of planetary echoes are also briefly discussed, and a reference is made to several astronomical studies which could be carried out with a very high-power radar.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 6 )