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Earth–Moon very-long-baseline interferometry project: modelling of the scientific outcome

Sergei L Kurdubov, Dmitry A Pavlov, Svetlana M Mironova, Sergey A Kaplev

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 486, Issue 1, 815–822 (2019)

DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz827

Keywords: relativistic processes, instrumentation: interferometers, methods: numerical, ephemerides, reference systems, Moon

About the paper Full text


Modern radio astrometry has reached the limit of the resolution that is determined by the size of the Earth. The only way to overcome this limit is to create radio telescopes outside our planet. There is a proposal to build an autonomous remote-controlled radio observatory on the Moon. Working together with existing radio telescopes on Earth in the very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) mode, the new observatory will form an interferometer baseline up to 410 000 km, enhancing the present astrometric and geodetic capabilities of VLBI. We perform numerical simulations of Earth–Moon VLBI observations, operating simultaneously with the international VLBI network. It is shown that these observations will significantly improve the precision of the determination of the Moon’s orbital motion, libration angles, the International Celestial Reference Frame and relativistic parameters.