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An Antenna Array for Studies in Meteor and Radio Astronomy at 13 Meters

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1 Author(s)
Gallagher, P.B. ; Radio Propagation Laboratory, Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif.

The design of a high-frequency radar antenna making possible the detection of echoes from the ionized trails produced by very small meteors is described. Preliminary results indicate that the radar system, when fully completed, will be capable of detecting meteors down to the 15th visual magnitude, thus making possible radio studies of meteors five visual magnitudes smaller than the smallest which have heretofore been systematically investigated at back reflection. The results of these studies are expected to provide new information on the amount and distribution of interplanetary matter, the contribution of meteoric ionization to the lower ionosphere, and the radio propagation characteristics of vhf ionospheric scatter and meteor burst communication systems. The results of some preliminary measurements of meteors down to the 14th magnitude are presented. Other possible applications of the antenna are discussed.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 1 )