'LUNAR' RADIO INTERFEROMETER,
GENERAL DYNAMICS/ASTRONAUTICS SAN DIEGO CALIF
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There is a type of radio interferometer, which takes advantage of the fact that the moon has a rarified atmosphere and, consequently, also a rarified ionosphere. Radio waves from a discrete source in the sky near the lunar disk may reach the observer on earth either in a straight line or in a slight curve through the ionosphere of the moon. As a result, these waves may interfere at the point of reception. Thus, the ionosphere of the moon, or simply the moon, assumes the function of the second antenna or of the surface of the ocean. Let us designate this interferometer for convenience the lunar interferometer. As shall be shown the lunar interferometer has a high resolving power and, therefore, may be a very valuable means for the determination of the angular values of very small discrete sources of cosmic radio emission. The present communication gives the basic considerations of the study of a lunar interferometer and also a method of determining the angular values of discrete sources.