TitleA Next Generation Low Band Observatory: A Community Study Exploring Low Frequency Options for ngVLA
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsClarke, T, Kassim, N, Giacintucci, S, Hicks, B, Kooi, J, Peters, W, Polisensky, E
PublisherCornell University

We present a community study exploring the low frequency (5 - 800 MHz) options and opportunities for the ngVLA project and its infrastructure. We describe a Next Generation LOw Band Observatory (ngLOBO) that will provide access to the low frequency sky in a commensal fashion, operating independently from the ngVLA, but leveraging common infrastructure. This approach provides continuous coverage through an aperture array (called ngLOBO-Low) below 150 MHz and by accessing the primary focus of the ngVLA antennas (called ngLOBO-High) above 150 MHz. ngLOBO preconditions include a) non-interference and b) low relative cost (<5%) with respect to ngVLA.

ngLOBO has three primary scientific missions: (1) Radio Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (Radio-LSST): one naturally wide beam, commensal with ngVLA, will conduct a continuous synoptic survey of large swaths of the sky for both slow and fast transients; (2) This same commensal beam will provide complementary low frequency images of all ngVLA targets and their environment {\it when such data enhances their value}. (3) Independent beams from the ngLOBO-Low aperture array will conduct research in astrophysics, Earth science and space weather applications, engaging new communities and attracting independent resources. If ngVLA operates down to 2 GHz or lower, ngLOBO data will enhance ngVLA calibration and dynamic scheduling. Finally, non-variable field sources outside the ngVLA field of view can be harvested for serendipitous science, e.g. population studies for thermal and non-thermal continuum sources.

The ngVLA will be a superb, high frequency instrument; ngLOBO will allow it to participate in the worldwide renaissance in low frequency science as well.