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Paper: Planetary Radar Astronomy
Volume: 278, NAIC-NRAO School on Single-dish Radio Astronomy: Techniques and Applications
Page: 271
Authors: Black, Gregory J.
Abstract: Radar is a powerful tool for studying the Solar System, with its reach limited in theory only by the transmitter power available. It has been used to observe targets ranging in size from the rings of Saturn down to house-sized asteroids. An observer has control of the illumination source, so a radar experiment provides information not available from passive observing methods. On centimeter to meter scales it is a sensitive probe of surface characteristics such as dielectric constant and roughness, and on larger scales can map topography and determine shapes of irregular objects at resolutions finer than other ground-based methods. This lecture will cover the basic techniques of planetary radar astronomy, give an overview of the scientific questions that can be addressed, and survey some recent results. Key points of the lecture will be: what can be learned from radar experiments; types of radar experiments; observable quantities; the radar equation; and an outline of current radar systems.
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