Long Wavelength Array

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Long Wavelength Array
Location(s) adjacent to the Very Large Array in New Mexico.
Coordinates 34°04′N 107°38′W / 34.07°N 107.63°W / 34.07; -107.63Coordinates: 34°04′N 107°38′W / 34.07°N 107.63°W / 34.07; -107.63
Wavelength 3.4–30 m (10–88 MHz)
Built 2009–
First light 7 April 2011
Telescope style phased array of 50 stations, each with 256 dipole antennas
Diameter 400 km
Collecting area 1 square kilometer
Mounting fixed
Website lwa.phys.unm.edu

The Long Wavelength Array (LWA) is a radio telescope in central New Mexico. It began preliminary tests of the hardware in 2011, and began regular operations in late 2015. [1] It is one of the few observatories to utilize relatively low frequencies (10-88 MHz), and is used to study relativistic particles, cosmic evolution, astrophysical plasma, decametric radio emissions from Jupiter-like extrasolar planets, and giant flares from magnetars.[2]

It consists of 53 stations, with a total of 13,000 dipole antennas[3] strategically placed in an area nearly 400 kilometres (250 mi) in diameter, to scan the sky at HF and VHF frequencies. Each antenna stands about 1.5 metres (5 ft) high and about 2.7 metres (9 ft) across the base.[4] The first station, located adjacent to the NRAO's VLA, consists of 256 antennas and was completed in December 2009. It was dedicated in April 2010, and routine operations began in 2011.[3] The second station (LWA2) is under construction about 19 km (12 mi) away.[5]

The project is a collaboration of UNM, VT, LANL, JPL, NRL, UI, BIRS, NRAO and AFRL.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ScienceCasts:Listening to the Stars". NASA Science. NASA. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  2. ^ Ellingson, Steven (2009), "The Long Wavelength Array" (PDF), Proceedings of the IEEE 97 (8): 1421–1430, Bibcode:2009IEEEP..97.1421E, doi:10.1109/JPROC.2009.2015683 
  3. ^ a b "JPL Searching for Galactic Flashes: "Exploding Black Holes or Transmissions by Other Civilizations?"". The Daily Galaxy. 2011-05-03. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  4. ^ Vega, Priscilla (2011-01-26). "An Astronomer's Field of Dreams". JPL. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  5. ^ "Current News". University of New Mexico. June 3, 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Welcome to the LWA!". UNM. Retrieved 2011-06-16. 

External links[edit]