TitleThe Low Band Observatory (LOBO): A VLA-based Radio LSST for Continuous, sub-GHz Observations in the LSST Era
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsKassim, N, Clarke, T, Hicks, B, Helmboldt, J, Peters, W, Wilson, T, Cutchin, S
Conference NameAAS Meeting #223
Date Published01/2014
PublisherAmerican Astronomical Society

LOBO is a proposed, dedicated, radio synoptic, high-z spectroscopy, and real-time transient and ionosphere monitoring capability of the Karl G. Jansky VLA. It will make use of the primary focus feeds to observe in parallel with the higher-frequency, Cassegrain feeds. LOBO will have dedicated samplers, fiber transmission, and backend processing systems, the latter to include correlator and pipelined calibration, imaging, and archive systems. With a ≥ 5 deg^2 field-of-view at meter wavelengths and longer (< 500 MHz), LOBO will perform efficient, blind searches for non-thermal transients and high-redshift spectral lines, e.g. by surveying 64 Mpc^2 at 4 at 330 MHz in each pointing. LOBO will provide synoptic, wide-field continuum images in a publicly available archive of all targeted VLA fields, annually surveying for ~6000 hours or over 25% of the available sky. We explore the potential for leveraging the scientific potential of this “Radio LSST” capability in the LSST era. A 10-antenna pilot project called the VLA Low Frequency Ionosphere and Transient Experiment (VLITE) is currently funded by NRL and under development with NRAO to explore the LOBO concept.