Electronics and Instrumentation Section

Section Coordinator: Bogdan Vacaliuc bvacaliuc@gmail.com

Background and Context
Advances in electronics have offered amateur radio astronomers new relatively low cost instrumentation to observe radio emitting sources.  Additionally, amateur astronomers have opportunities to use professional radio telescopes that have become available through public outreach grants. 

NRAO 40 Foot Dish and Jansky Antenna
The Forty-foot Telescope, was constructed in the early 60s for the purpose of determining if radio sources are variable. The Forty Foot Telescope is currently an educational instrument available to SARA members.  The NRAO also is host to a replica of Jansky's original antenna, also available to SARA members.
Related Radio Astronomy Project(s) and/or Information:

UNC Skynet and On-line Radio Telescope Resources
SKYNET is a distributed network of robotic telescopes operated by students, faculty, and staff at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is available to SARA members upon request.
Related Radio Astronomy Project(s) and/or Information:

Arduino is a single-board micro-controller, intended to make the application of interactive objects or environments more accessible, and has radio astronomy applications.
Related Radio Astronomy Project(s) and/or Information:

Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It is a capable little computer that can be used in electronics projects, including radio astronomy applications.
Related Radio Astronomy Project(s) and/or Information:

Software Defined Radio (SDR)
SDR is defined as radio in which some or all of the physical layer functions are software defined.  SDR is a radio communication system where components that have been typically implemented in hardware (e.g. mixers, filters, amplifiers, modulators/demodulators, detectors, etc.) are instead implemented by means of software on a personal computer. It has radio astronomy applications.
Related Radio Astronomy Project(s) and/or Information:

A RADSR design team will release a software defined receiver (SDR) for radio astronomy called RASDR2.
Related Radio Astronomy Project(s) and/or Information:

The Itty Bitty Telescope (IBT)
The IBT radio telescope is made from a small satellite dish and affordable components.
Related Radio Astronomy Project(s) and/or Information:

408 MHz Receiver Project
The GEM, Galactic Emission Mapping, is an international project with the goal of making a precise map of the electromagnetic spectrum of our galaxy at low frequencies (radio and microwaves). The GEM Radio Telescope measures the radio emission of our galaxy in five frequencies, between 408 MHz and 10 GHz.
Related Radio Astronomy Project(s) and/or Information:

Antennas, Ancillary Components, and Test Equipment
See references for many applications in this sub-section.

Under Construction
•    Radio Observing Award Programs
•    Links (including related topics in the SARA Listserv Archive, and SARA Journal Table of Contents)
•    References
•    Glossary: http://www.radio-astronomy.org/pdf/SARA%20Glossary.pdf


SARA is dedicated to the exploration of radio astronomy at the amateur level. Many amateurs are engaged in developing hardware, software, and methodologies to expand the limits of amateur radio observation. Such amateurs impose intriguing opportunities. With peer review, they can develop new approaches to radio astronomy observation, or offer an equally valuable dissertation on explanations to misidentified radio observations and their nature.  SARA welcomes positive diversity of opinion but does not necessarily embrace those opinions as it own.