|Title||The VLA Low-band Ionosphere and Transient Experiment (VLITE)|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Clarke, T, Peters, W, Giacintucci, S, Kassim, N, Polisensky, E, Helmboldt, J, Richards, E, Ray, P, Kerr, M, Deneva, J|
|Journal||American Astronomical Society|
The VLA Low-band Ionosphere and Transient Experiment (VLITE, http://vlite.nrao.edu/ ) is a commensal low-frequency observing system that has been operational on the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) since late 2014. The separate optical paths of the prime-focus sub-GHz dipole feeds and the Cassegrain-focus 1-50 GHz feeds allow both systems to operate simultaneously with independent correlators. The initial 2.5 years of VLITE operation provided real-time correlation of 10 antennas across the 320-384 MHz band with a total observing time approaching 12,000 hours. During the summer of 2017, VLITE was upgraded to a total of 16 antennas (more than doubling the number of baselines) with enhanced correlator capabilities to enable correlation of the on-the-fly observing mode being used for the new NRAO VLA Sky Survey (VLASS).We present an overview of the VLITE system, including highlights of the complexities of a commensal observing program, sparse-array challenges, and scientific capabilities from our science-ready data pipeline. In the longer term, we seek a path to broadband expansion across all VLA antennas to develop a powerful new LOw Band Observatory (LOBO).