aperture synthesis
  • Process used mainly in radio astronomy whereby signals received by more than one telescope are combined mathematically to give the effect of using a single much larger one. Radio telescopes on separate continents have been used for aperture synthesis to create the effect of a planet-sized telescope, and the Soviet Soyuz space stations have been used as sites for antennae for aperture synthesis beyond the Earth, with one part of the aperture in orbit and the other on the ground. These experiments may be the precursors of astronomical instruments of astronomical size, in which perhaps one element could be on the far side of the Moon to avoid terrestrial radio pollution and the other in orbit around Pluto, making a telescope effectively billions of miles across.

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