# 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, a group of students and I will work together to prepare public-domain pedagogical materials on a subject that will be distributed to the rest of the class in advance of each meeting. Class time will be split between discussing the subject informally, and working in groups to develop tools and address on-going research questions that each student brings to the class.

My hope is that this class will be moderately time-consuming, but that the tools, collaborations, and research developed inside the class will have a broad enough scope that it can double-count as research/work time. All of our activities are aimed at creating tools (both pedagogical and research-oriented) that will have value beyond the classroom.

### Topics

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

Computing

Signal Processing / Fourier Analysis

Interferometers

Statistics

- Central Limit Theorem
- Radiometer Equation
- Bayesian Statistics
- Statistics in Python
- Fisher Matrices
- Bootstrap resampling

Signal Path

- Ohm's Law
- Thevenin Equivalent Resistance
- Capacitance and Inductance
- RC Filters
- Diodes
- Transistors
- Transmission Lines
- Antennas and Feeds
- Receivers and Amplifiers

Pedagogy of Radio Astronomy / Meta-Information

Science of Radio Astronomy

## Topics by Date

- Aug 31:
- Convolution Theorem
- Creating Short Topical Presentations
- Python Installation and Basic Programming
- Brainstorming Lab Projects
- Choosing a Topic to Present
- Getting an account

- Sep 07:
- Revision Control
- Choosing a Lab Project
- Begin a Python project (radioastro), revision-controlled under GIT, that
- has a convolution module (conv.py) with functions for
- performing 1D and 2D convolutions of two provided functions

- has a module (noise.py) with brightness-temperature/jansky conversions
- should take beam size and wavelength as arguments
- should predict noise levels for observations of given bandwidth, time, number of antennas, etc.

- has a convolution module (conv.py) with functions for

- Sep 14:
- Radiometer Equation
- Discus class project: the Homemade Interferometer
- Create some software for simulating a visibility. That is, given two antennas (with x,y,z positions in equatorial coordinates) and a source (with x,y,z also in equatorial coordinates), compute the phase that you would measure as a function of frequency.

- Sep 21:
- Basic Interferometry
- Discuss class project: Aggregating Software Tools
- Extend visibility simulation software to handle many sources (with spectra), and many antennas (with passbands).

- Sep 28:
- Basic Interferometry II
- Discuss class project: Parallel Computing
- Create plan of work for each class project. Catch up on class software.

- Oct 05:
- Coordinates
- Working on class project.
- Units of radiation

- Oct 12:
- Working on class project. Report on Homemade Interferometer deployment.

- Oct 19:
- Oct 26:
- Nov 02:
- Nov 09:
- Nov 16:
- Nov 23:
- Nov 30: