# Radio Astronomy: Tools and Techniques

This is course is aimed at graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and interested third parties who:

- would like to understand radio astronomy better
- would like to develop technical skills (programming, signal processing, instrumentation, algorithms, pedagogy, etc) to help them in their research
- would like to be involved, and involve their peers, in developing concrete tools to help their research

This class will follow a flexible, non-traditional format whereby each week, I will prepare public-domain video "lectures" that will be distributed to the class in advance of each meeting. Class time will be split between discussing the subject informally, and working in groups on laboratory projects exploring practical applications of these subjects relevant for radio astronomy, as well as other research areas.

My hope is that this class will be moderately time-consuming, with the bulk of the time commitment spend during class time working on labs. All of our activities are aimed at creating tools (both pedagogical and research-oriented) that will have value beyond the classroom.

At the end of the semester, each student will develop one new lecture on a subject of their choice to add to this website.

### Class Code Repository[edit]

http://github.com/AaronParsons/astro250

### Topics[edit]

Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of topics that we will consider covering in this class. Eventually, it would be nice to link in as many topics as possible and begin to organize subjects by their prerequisites and relatedness.

Algorithms

Software Development

- Python Installation and Basic Programming
- Revision Control
- Programming Models
- General software tools
- Network Programming

Computing

- Processor Architectures
- Synchronous and Asynchronous Logic
- Data Representations
- Quantization and Rounding

Signal Processing / Fourier Analysis

- Nyquist Sampling
- Convolution Theorem
- Windowing
- FIR Filters
- Digital Down Conversion
- Correlators
- Deconvolution

Astrometry

Radiation

Interferometers

- Basic Interferometry
- Delay Imaging
- Measurement Equation
- Basic Interferometry II
- Deconvolution (currently part of Basic Interferometry II)

- Advanced Interferometry
- Radiometer Equation Applied to Interferometers
- Fringe Stopping
- Single Sideband Systems

Synthesis Imaging

- Interferometric Imaging
- Self Calibration
- Phase Calibration (currently part of self-calibration)

- Flux Calibration
- Gridding
- Earth Rotation Synthesis
- W Projection
- Direction Dependent Beams
- Ionospheric Distortion
- Seeing

Noise and Statistics

- Central Limit Theorem
- Johnson-Nyquist Noise
- Noise Temperature
- Radiometer Equation
- Bayesian Statistics
- Statistics in Python
- Fisher Matrices
- Bootstrap resampling

Signal Path

- Ohm's Law
- Thevenin Equivalent Resistance
- Capacitance and Inductance
- Impedance
- RC Filters
- Diodes
- Transmission Lines
- Transistors
- Amplifier Circuits

Antennas

- Reciprocity Theorem
- Dipole Antennas
- Impedance of Free Space
- Radiometer Equation Applied to Telescopes

Pedagogy of Radio Astronomy / Meta-Information

Science of Radio Astronomy

## Topics by Date[edit]

- Introduction (Aug 31)
- Creating Short Topical Presentations
- Python Installation and Basic Programming
- Revision Control
- Choosing a Topic to Present
- Getting accounts / setting up environments
- Python (numpy, pylab, scipy)
- Astrobaki
- Git

- Tour of lab
- Radio Astronomy: State of the Union

- Analog 1 (Sep 07)
- Ohm's Law
- Thevenin Equivalent Resistance
- Capacitance and Inductance
- Impedance
- RC Filters
- Diodes
- Analog Lab 1: Building an analog FM receiver

- Analog 2 (Sep 14)
- Transmission Lines
- Transistors
- Amplifier Circuits
- Analog Lab 2: Building an FM stereo amplifier

- Analog 3 (Sep 21)
- Central Limit Theorem
- Johnson-Nyquist Noise
- Noise Temperature
- Radiometer Equation
- Analog Lab 3: Measuring noise in resistors and amplifiers

- Digital 1 (Sep 28)
- Nyquist Sampling
- Data Representations
- Quantization and Rounding
- Digital Lab 1: Sampling, Aliasing, and Quantization

- Digital 2 (Oct 05)
- Synchronous and Asynchronous Logic
- Processor Architectures
- Convolution Theorem
- Digital Down Conversion
- Digital Lab 2: Building a Simple DDC

- Digital 3 (Oct 12)
- FIR Filters
- Fast Fourier Transform
- Network Programming
- Digital Lab 3: Digital FM Radio

- Antennas (Oct 19)
- Reciprocity Theorem
- Dipole Antennas
- Impedance of Free Space
- Radiometer Equation Applied to Telescopes
- Antenna Lab 1: Building & Measuring Impedance of a Dipole

- Interferometry 1 (Oct 26)
- Correlators
- Basic Interferometry
- Delay Imaging
- Interfero Lab 1: Audio Beamforming

- Interferometry 2 (Nov 02)
- Measurement Equation
- Basic Interferometry II
- Earth Rotation Synthesis
- Deconvolution (currently part of Basic Interferometry II)
- Radiometer Equation Applied to Interferometers
- Interfero Lab 2: Synthesis Imaging

- Interferometry 3 (Nov 09)
- Self Calibration
- Phase Calibration (currently part of self-calibration)
- Flux Calibration
- Gridding
- W Projection
- Interfero Lab 3: W-Projection Gridding

- Observing 1 (Nov 16)
- Coordinates
- Radio Sky
- Black-Body Radiation
- 21cm Transition
- Pulsars
- Catch-up Lab

- Observing 2 (Nov 30)
- Fringe Stopping
- Single Sideband Systems
- Direction Dependent Beams
- Ionospheric Distortion
- Seeing
- Blackboard Telescope Design
- Evaluations

- Final Reports Due (Dec 07)