Ultra-low-frequency radio astronomy observations from a Seleno-centric orbit

First results of the Longjiang-2 experiment

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Abstract

This paper introduces the first results of observations with the Ultra-Long-Wavelength (ULW) —- Low Frequency Interferometer and Spectrometer (LFIS) on board the selenocentric satellite Longjiang-2. We present a brief description of the satellite and focus on the LFIS payload. The in-orbit commissioning confirmed a reliable operational status of the instrumentation. We also present results of a transition observation, which offers unique measurements on several novel aspects. We estimate the RFI suppression required for such a radio astronomy instrumentation at the Moon-distances from Earth as order of − 80 dB. We analyse a method of separating Earth- and satellite-originated radio frequency interference (RFI). It is found that the RFI level at frequencies lower than a few MHz is smaller than the receiver noise floor.