Sunday, March 08, 2009


Project EARS idea...

This probably follows up an idea in an old post somewhere, but I still think it would make a rather interesting science project. So what is EARS? EARS is just an acronym I made up for Exotic Astronomical Radio Source. More or less, it's a radio astronomy equivalent to the Hubble telescope or perhaps the newly launched Kepler telescope. As to the general gist of how I picture it, EARS should be an exceptionally large reflector dish made with inflatable structures and placed in a Lagrange orbit. Perhaps it could be a multiple mission package. One or two for the inflatable dish (yes an entire payload if not two for the structural component, because when fully unfurled it should rival the Aricebo reflector in size) and another for the electronics package.

Another idea may be to send out a huge swarm of probes into an array located in that particular orbit, just depends on how well they can be kept on station relative to each other. But the effect is the same, you want a large collector without interference from the earth itself. Other than Lagrange sattelites, the remaining option would be a lunar far side observatory. But I'd suspect that dropping payloads on the moon is trickier than putting science sats in Lagrange orbit.

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