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Astronomie radar et radioastronomie à l'aide du radar transhorizon Nostradamus : Un fleuron technologique français au service de la science

Abstract : The Nostradamus radar system is a set of 288 antenna elements distributed over the arms of a threebranch star. It is operating in High Frequency waves (6 to 28 MHz) that bounce on the ionosphere, reaching areas far beyond the horizon. As an early warning radar system, its primary purpose was the detection of aircraft at long ranges from 700 to 3 000 km. Whereas over-the-horizon (OTH) radars are usually bistatic and require huge linear antenna networks to beam the signals, the special surface distribution of Nostradamus makes it possible to control the electronic beams both in azimuth and elevation. This original conception of the system allows its use in many scientific fields. In the past years, research have been carried out on the ionosphere, on oceanography and on seismology. More recently, the radar has been used at trans-ionospheric frequencies to do radar astronomy by detecting meteorites and the Moon, and radio astronomy by observing Jovian and Solar radio emissions. Few large instruments operate at decameter wave mainly because of man made radio frequency interference and because of the poor signal to noise ratio of cosmic sources. However, interest for this frequency domain have recently been making something of a comeback, as new giant telescopes are being built. After a quick presentation of the OTH radar, we present some space observations that have been made. These radio observations are compared to data coming from a decameter radio telescope, the Nancay Decameter Array located in France. Finally, we will discuss about possible other experiments that could be carried out in the future.
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  • HAL Id : hal-01227941, version 1

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Jean François Degurse, Jean-Philippe Molinié, Véronique Rannou, Sylvie Marcos. Astronomie radar et radioastronomie à l'aide du radar transhorizon Nostradamus : Un fleuron technologique français au service de la science. La Revue de l'Electricité et de l'Electronique, Société de l'Électricité, de l'Électronique et des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication, 2015, REE 2015 (4). ⟨hal-01227941⟩

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