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VSOP-2 Technology

Most of the technologies of the VSOP-2 mission already have been demonstrated by VSOP-1, by ground-based Very Long Baseline Interferometry, or by other space missions. These include:

  • Provision of a highly stable on-board clock locked to a ground-based hydrogen maser (VSOP-1)
  • Wideband downlink and recording of data at a rate of 128 Mbit/s (VSOP-1), as well as recording and correlation of telescope data at the VSOP-2 rate of 1 Gbit/s and higher (ground VLBI)
  • Space-hardened low-noise amplifiers at gigahertz frequencies (VSOP-1, WMAP)
  • Long-lived space-qualified cryogenic coolers (several JAXA missions)
Perhaps the two newest technology requirements for VSOP-2 are precision orbit determination of 10 cm accuracy or better for the astrometric science goals, plus reliable deployment of a 10m space antenna with surface accuracy sufficient for observing at frequencies as high as 43 GHz. The orbit determination will be carried out by a combination of on-board GPS receivers and laser-ranging for the highest accuracy astrometric observations. The deployable antenna will consist of seven 4m antenna segments that are essentially identical to those of the 14-segment antenna deployed aboard the ETS-VIII satellite in December 2006. Additional azimuthal cables, as well as a multi-dimensional focus-adjustment mechanism, will be used to provide the enhanced surface accuracy required for the ASTRO-G radio telescope.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14-Jan-2009 10:28:13 MST

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