The moon

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 133–147 | Cite as

ALSEP-quasar differential VLBI

  • Martin A. Slade
  • Robert A. Preston
  • Alan W. Harris
  • Lyle J. Skjerve
  • Donovan J. Spitzmesser


A program of ALSEP-Quasar Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) is being carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. These observations primarily employ a ‘4-antenna’ technique whereby simultaneous observations with two antennas at each end of an intercontinental baseline are used to derive the differential interferometric phase between a compact extragalactic radio source (usually a quasar) and a number of ALSEP transmitters on the lunar surface. A continuous ALSEP-quasar differential phase history over a few hour period will lead to milliarcsecond angular accuracy in measuring the lunar position against the quasar reference frame if suitable calibration measurements are obtained. Development of this application of the 4-antenna technique has been underway at JPL for more than a year and is now producing high quality data utilizing Deep Space Network (DSN) stations in Australia, Spain, and Goldstone, California as well as the STDN ‘Apollo’ station at Goldstone. These high accuracy observations are of value to tie the lunar ephemeris to a nearly inertial extragalactic reference frame, to test gravitational theories, and to measure the Earth-Moon tidal friction interaction.


Radio Source Very Long Baseline Interferometry Lunar Surface Baseline Interferometry Interferometric Phase 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin A. Slade
    • 1
  • Robert A. Preston
    • 1
  • Alan W. Harris
    • 1
  • Lyle J. Skjerve
    • 1
  • Donovan J. Spitzmesser
    • 1
  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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