Radio Astronomy: Tools and Techniques

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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.


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.


Software Development


Signal Processing / Fourier Analysis



Signal Path

Pedagogy of Radio Astronomy / Meta-Information

Science of Radio Astronomy

Topics by Date

  • Digital 3 (Oct 12)
  • Antennas (Oct 19)
  • Interferometry 1 (Oct 26)
  • Interferometry 2 (Nov 02)
  • Interferometry 3 (Nov 09)
  • Observing (Nov 16)
  • Observatories (Nov 23)
  • Student Topics (Nov 30)
  • Final Reports (Dec 07)

Previous Class Projects