Undergraduate Radio Lab

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This course consists of four laboratory experiments that concentrate on radio instrumentation and laboratory techniques. We will build receiving, observing, and data analysis systems for two telescopes: a single-dish 21-cm line system, and a 10.7-GHz interferometer. We will use these telescopes for astronomical observing projects including structure of the Milky Way galaxy, precise position measurement of several radio sources, and measurement of the radio brightness distributions of the sun and moon with high angular resolution. There is a heavy emphasis on digital data acquisition, software development in the Python language, and high-quality written reports.

Class Programmatics


General Skills Used Through-Out Course

Topics by Date

Lab 1 (Exploring Digital Sampling, Fourier Transforms, and both DSB and SSB Mixers), Due Feb 9, 1:00p

Lab 1, Week 1 (Jan 19): Sampling and Power Spectra

Lab 1, Week 2 (Jan 27): DSB and SSB Mixers

Lab 1, Week 3 (Feb 2): More Mixers, and Lab Reports

Lab 2 (Astronomy with the 21cm Line; Some Microwave Electronics), due Mar 2, 1:00p

Lab 2, Week 1 (Feb 9): 21cm Line and Waveguides

Lab 2, Week 2 (Feb 16): Collect and Analyze Data

Lab 2, Week 3 (Feb 23): Write Lab Report

Lab 3 (Radio Interferometry at X Band), due Apr 6, 1:00p

Lab 3 Week 1 (Mar 2): Interferometer

Lab 3 Week 2 (Mar 9): Collect and Analyze Data

Lab 3 Week 3 (Mar 16): Collect and Analyze Data

No class (Mar 23, 26)

Lab 3 Week 4 (Mar 30): Write Lab Report

Lab 4 (Mapping the HI Line: the Galaxy and Supershells), due May 4, 1:00p

Useful Links

Link to Observing Calendar

Leuschner WebCam

Lab 4 Week 1 (Apr 6): Leuschner Dish

Lab 4 Week 2 (Apr 13): Collect and Analyze Data

Lab 4 Week 3 (Apr 20): Collect and Analyze Data

Lab 4 Week 4 (Apr 27): Write Lab Report

Unused but Useful?