SKA antenna systems; Outlook for non-astronomy applications
Paper in proceedings, 2012
The globally endorsed Square Kilometre Array project primarily aims to advance high sensitivity radio astronomy using a distributed collection of radio telescope stations spiraling outward from the core along three to five arms out to 3000km. This planned highly sensitive instrument covering a frequency range from 70MHz up to 10GHz will be used as wideband, high resolution, wide observing field interferometer of which the first phase will be realized this decade. With the SKA telescope capabilities and with the underlying technologies, there are many space related applications outside the immediate radio astronomy domain. Examples are tracking space debris, precision orbit determination, simultaneous deep space tracking of multiple spacecrafts, GNSS and other ground segment applications, such as search and rescue tracking. After a brief introduction to the SKA, this paper will explore these potential application areas using the SKA based on its underlying approaches in the antenna and receiving subsystems.