Bistatic radar experiments with the VLA/Goldstone 8.4 GHz system are an unanticipated use of the VLA which have produced a number of exciting results, including: (i) the discovery of ice deposits at the poles of Mercury, (ii) the discovery of the ``Stealth" feature on Mars, which produces no detectable echo, and (iii) the discovery that Titan has no deep global ethane/ methane ocean, contrary to expectations.
New 2.4 GHz receivers would enable bistatic radar experiments to be done with both Goldstone and the newly upgraded Arecibo transmitter. JPL is committed to installing a new transmitter on the Goldstone 70 m antenna, operating at 33 GHz, in support of the Cassini mission to Saturn. Hence bistatic radar experiments will be possible in three frequency bands spanning more than a decade in frequency. Furthermore, the VLA will be better able to support future planetary missions if it is equipped for both the 2.4 and 8.4 GHz telemetry bands.
To maximize support of bistatic radar experiments, the VLA Development Plan must include: