A new era for low frequency Galactic center transient monitoring
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An upgrade of the low frequency observing system of the VLA developed by NRL and NRAO, called low band (LB), will open a new era of Galactic center (GC) transient monitoring. Our previous searches using the VLA and GMRT have revealed a modest number of radio-selected transients, but have been severely sensitivity and observing time limited. The new LB system, currently accessing the 236-492 MHz frequency range, promises =5 × improved sensitivity over the legacy VLA system. The new system is emerging from commissioning in time to catch any enhanced sub-GHz emission from the G2 cloud event, and we review existing limits based on recent observations. We also describe a proposed 24/7 commensal system, called the LOw Band Observatory (LOBO). LOBO offers over 100 VLA GC monitoring hours per year, possibly revealing new transients and helping validate ASTRO2010's anticipation of a new era of transient radio astronomy. A funded LOBO pathfinder called the VLA Low Frequency Ionosphere and Transient Experiment (VLITE) is under development. Finally, we consider the impact of LB and LOBO on our GC monitoring program. Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2014.
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