SAMURAI (Science of AGNs and Masers with Unprecedented Resolution
in Astronomical Imaging) is a collaboration for US participation in
the Japanese-led VSOP-2 Space VLBI mission, centered around the
ASTRO-G spacecraft to be launched in 2013. SAMURAI focuses primarily
on two aspects of AGN studies: (1) Origin of jets and gamma-ray
emission in the most extreme blazars; and (2) Determination of
Hubble's Constant and direct measurement of central black-hole
masses in water megamaser galaxies.
SAMURAI is a high-science/low-cost enhancement of the VSOP-2
mission. It will accomplish its scientific goals by providing
critical mission elements that would not otherwise be available:
- Provision of 1 or 2 science telemetry (tracking) stations for transmission of
a maser-quality clock to the ASTRO-G spacecraft, and downlink of wideband
- Operations support of the Very Long Baseline Array to provide
the ground-space interferometer and data correlation for the required
AGN imaging and astrometry
- Precision orbit determination using GPS techniques
- Participation of the US science team in the VSOP-2 mission
SAMURAI includes no flight hardware and imposes no new requirements
on the Japanese ASTRO-G spacecraft.
A proposal for SAMURAI was submitted as a Mission of Opportunity
to NASA in early 2008. It was ranked as a Category I proposal
(recommended for funding), with 11 major strengths and no major
weaknesses identified by the science and technical/programmatic
review teams. Unfortunately, the SAMURAI proposal was not selected,
so the SAMURAI team is seeking other funding opportunities to
pursue the relevant science.
Last modified on
Monday, 23-Mar-2009 21:24:10 MDT
Hosted by NRAO on behalf of the US VSOP-2 Science Team.