The very small array
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The Very Small Array. VSA. Dr. H. Paul Shuch, Exec. Dir., The SETI League, Inc. ( Description and Objectives:.

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The Very Small Array

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The Very Small Array


Dr. H. Paul Shuch, Exec. Dir., The SETI League, Inc. (

Description and Objectives:

A test platform for future research-grade radio telescopes, the Very Small Array is a low-cost effort to combine the collecting area of multiple off-the-shelf backyard satellite TV dishes into a highly capable L-band observing instrument. A volunteer effort of the grassroots nonprofit SETI League, the VSA is being built in the Principal Investigator’s backyard, with member donations and modest grant funding. A US patent has been issued for our technique of employing combined analog and digital circuitry for simultaneous total power radiometry, spectroscopy, and aperture synthesis interferometry.

Key Features of Instrument:

Schedule Milestones:

Phase 0: Paper design, single-dish test bed;

US patent #6,593,876 (issued2003)

Phase 1: Physical Structures – (completed 2004)

(masts, az/el mounts, dishes, feeds,

conduit, junction boxes cables)

Phase 2: Front-end electronics (in process 2005)

Phase 3: Back-end electronics + DSP (planned for 2007)

8 ea. 1.8 meter reflectors in Mills Cross array

Offset feeds for non-blocked aperture

Meridian transit mode w/ elevation rotation

Dual Orthogonal Circular Polarizations

Full ‘water-hole’ coverage, 1.2 – 1.7 GHz

Simultaneous total power radiometry, spec-troscopy, and interferometry in real time


Meridian transit all-sky SETI survey

Parasitic Astrophysical Survey

Targeted SETI in direction of known exoplanets

Quick-response verification of candidate SETI signals


American Astronomical Society, ARRL Foundation, Microcomm Consulting


12 May 2005

Radio Telescope, Phased Array, Mills Cross, Radiometry, Spectroscopy, Interferometry, SETI

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