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Istituto, Italy

Pettinelli E.,Third University of Rome | Cosciotti B.,Third University of Rome | Di Paolo F.,Third University of Rome | Lauro S.E.,Third University of Rome | And 3 more authors.
Reviews of Geophysics | Year: 2015

The first European mission dedicated to the exploration of Jupiter and its icy moons (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer-JUICE) will be launched in 2022 and will reach its final destination in 2030. The main goals of this mission are to understand the internal structure of the icy crusts of three Galilean satellites (Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto) and, ultimately, to detect Europa's subsurface ocean, which is believed to be the closest to the surface among those hypothesized to exist on these moons. JUICE will be equipped with the 9MHz subsurface-penetrating radar RIME (Radar for Icy Moon Exploration), which is designed to image the ice down to a depth of 9km. Moreover, a parallel mission to Europa, which will host onboard REASON (Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface) equipped with 9MHz and 60MHz antennas, has been recently approved by NASA. The success of these experiments strongly relies on the accurate prediction of the radar performance and on the optimal processing and interpretation of radar echoes that, in turn, depend on the dielectric properties of the materials composing the icy satellite crusts. In the present review we report a complete range of potential ice types that may occur on these icy satellites to understand how they may affect the results of the proposed missions. First, we discuss the experimental results on pure and doped water ice in the framework of the Jaccard theory, highlighting the critical aspects in terms of a lack of standard laboratory procedures and inconsistency in data interpretation. We then describe the dielectric behavior of extraterrestrial ice analogs like hydrates and icy mixtures, carbon dioxide ice and ammonia ice. Building on this review, we have selected the most suitable data to compute dielectric attenuation, velocity, vertical resolution, and reflection coefficients for such icy moon environments, with the final goal being to estimate the potential capabilities of the radar missions as a function of the frequency and temperature ranges of interest for the subsurface sounders. We present the different subsurface scenarios and associated radar signal attenuation models that have been proposed so far to simulate the structure of the crust of Europa and discuss the physical and geological nature of various dielectric targets potentially detectable with RIME. Finally, we briefly highlight several unresolved issues that should be addressed, in near future, to improve our capability to produce realistic electromagnetic models of icy moon crusts. The present review is of interest for the geophysical exploration of all solar system bodies, including the Earth, where ice can be present at the surface or at relatively shallow depths. ©2015. American Geophysical Union. Source

Das K.,Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy | Roy A.L.,Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy | Keller R.,Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy | Tuccari G.,Istituto di Radioastronomia
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2010

Context: Radio astronomical receivers are now expanding their frequency range to cover large (octave) fractional bandwidths for sensitivity and spectral flexibility, which makes the design of good analogue circular polarizers challenging. Better polarization purity requires a flatter phase response over increasingly wide bandwidth, which is most easily achieved with digital techniques. They offer the ability to form circular polarization with perfect polarization purity over arbitrarily wide fractional bandwidths, due to the ease of introducing a perfect quadrature phase shift. Further, the rapid improvements in field programmable gate arrays provide the high processing power, low cost, portability and reconfigurability needed to make practical the implementation of the formation of circular polarization digitally. Aims: Here we explore the performance of a circular polarizer implemented with digital techniques. Methods: We designed a digital circular polarizer in which the intermediate frequency signals from a receiver with native linear polarizations were sampled and converted to circular polarization. The frequency-dependent instrumental phase difference and gain scaling factors were determined using an injected noise signal and applied to the two linear polarizations to equalize the transfer characteristics of the two polarization channels. This equalization was performed in 512 frequency channels over a 512 MHz bandwidth. Circular polarization was formed by quadrature phase shifting and summing the equalized linear polarization signals. Results: We obtained polarization purity of -25 dB corresponding to a D-term of 0.06 over the whole bandwidth. Conclusions: This technique enables construction of broad-band radio astronomy receivers with native linear polarization to form circular polarization for VLBI. © ESO 2010. Source

Sibthorpe B.,Astronomy Technology Center | Ade P.A.R.,University of Cardiff | Bock J.J.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Bock J.J.,California Institute of Technology | And 32 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2010

We use new large area far infrared maps ranging from 65 to 500 μm obtained with the AKARI and the Balloonborne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope missions to characterize the dust emission toward the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant (SNR). Using the AKARI high-resolution data we find a new "tepid" dust grain population at a temperature of ∼35 K and with an estimated mass of 0.06 M⊙. This component is confined to the central area of the SNR and may represent newly formed dust in the unshocked supernova ejecta. While the mass of tepid dust that we measure is insufficient by itself to account for the dust observed at high redshift, it does constitute an additional dust population to contribute to those previously reported. We fit our maps at 65, 90, 140, 250, 350, and 500 μm to obtain maps of the column density and temperature of "cold" dust (near 16 K) distributed throughout the region. The large column density of cold dust associated with clouds seen in molecular emission extends continuously from the surrounding interstellar medium to project on the SNR, where the foreground component of the clouds is also detectable through optical, X-ray, and molecular extinction. At the resolution available here, there is no morphological signature to isolate any cold dust associated only with the SNR from this confusing interstellar emission. Our fit also recovers the previously detected "hot" dust in the remnant, with characteristic temperature 100 K. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. Source

Donnert J.M.F.,Istituto di Radioastronomia
Astronomische Nachrichten | Year: 2013

We review models for giant radio halos in clusters of galaxies, with a focus on numerical and theoretical work. After summarising the most important observations of these objects, we present an introduction to the theoretical aspects of hadronic models. We compare these models with observations using simulations and find severe problems for hadronic models. We give a short introduction to reacceleration models and show results from the first simulation of CRe reacceleration in cluster mergers. We find that in-line with previous theoretical work, reacceleration models are able to elegantly explain main observables of giant radio halos. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Valiante E.,University of British Columbia | Ade P.A.R.,University of Cardiff | Bock J.J.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Bock J.J.,California Institute of Technology | And 26 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series | Year: 2010

We present results from a survey carried out by the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) on a 9 deg2 field near the South Ecliptic Pole at 250, 350, and 500μm. The median 1s depths of the maps are 36.0, 26.4, and 18.4mJy, respectively. We apply a statistical method to estimate submillimeter galaxy number counts and find that they are in agreement with other measurements made with the same instrument and with the more recent results from Herschel/SPIRE. Thanks to the large field observed, the new measurements give additional constraints on the bright end of the counts.We identify 132, 89, and 61 sources with S/N ≥ 4 at 250, 350, 500μm, respectively and provide a multi-wavelength combined catalog of 232 sources with a significance ≥ 4σ in at least one BLAST band. The new BLAST maps and catalogs are available publicly at http://blastexperiment.info. © 2010. Source

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