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Lunar mapping with 6-meter wavelength

One of the efforts we are working on is mapping the Moon with 6-meter wavelength. This is done using the Jicamarca Radio Observatory 6-meter wavelength radar. The radar is useful for a number of reasons. The radar is huge. The dimensions of the antenna is 300 x 300 meters. It's got 9216 dipole antennas chained as groups of 12 colinear coaxial antennas. It can transmit up to 4 MW of power towards the Moon. It can be split into smaller sections for interferometry on receive. The antenna is fully polarimetric: you can transmit and receive any combination of two linear orthogonal polarizations.

The most important reason for using Jicamarca is frequency. The low frequency of 49.92 MHz allows the radio wave to penetrate very deep into the subsurface of the Moon. We estimate that in highland regions, the wave can penetrate up to 1 km beneath the surface. The low frequency does come with an associated cost. It is not possible to make a very high resolution map of the Moon. We can only …

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