Conference Abstracts

AWESOME data - evidence of ionospheric precursors to large earthquakes?: Pavel Kosovichev, Stanford University, California. It has long been proposed that ionospheric anomalies can be detected prior to an earthquake by analysis of VLF signals. Several methods were used in the past, including the analysis of terminator time shift, nighttime amplitude fluctuation, and D-layer preparation and disappearance times. In a number of cases, significant VLF anomalies were found several days prior to a major earthquake. These anomalies may be interpreted as ionospheric disturbances due to field ionization in the atmospheric column. Still, no consensus exists on the uniformity of these findings, and this area of research is still controversial. The purpose of our project is to review the evidence using a combination of existing methods and narrowband data from the worldwide network of AWESOME monitors, which are high-resolution, 16-bit VLF receivers developed at the Stanford School of Engineering.

e-CALLISTO Solar Spectrometer Network & CALLSTO Receiver, Whitham D. Reeve, Anchorage, Alaska: e-CALLISTO is a worldwide solar radio monitoring network used by amateur and professional radio astronomers alike. This presentation will describe the network and the technical aspects and availability of the instrument used in e-CALLISTO radio telescopes.

e-CALLISTO Receiver ~ Upgrades and Modifications, Whitham D. Reeve, Anchorage, Alaska: e-CALLISTO is a worldwide solar radio monitoring network used by amateur and professional radio astronomers alike. This presentation will describe modifications to the CALLISTO Receiver that expand its capabilities. These include modifications to allow the receiver’s intermediate frequency output to be connected to a software defined radio.

Long Wavelength Astronomy: A Collaboration Proposal for the Amateur Radio Astronomy Community, Ray Fobes, Neal Vinson and Jim Campbell, Embry-Riddle University, Prescott, Arizona: The professional radio astronomy community is beginning to build arrays to observe and study the universe at long wavelengths. Recent advances in electronics and computer power have opened up this relatively little explored region. We propose a simple version of these professional arrays taking advantage of all their testing and design work to create an amateur radio astronomy version of the long wavelength astronomical observatories. Long wavelength astronomy studies the electromagnetic spectrum below about 300 MHz. Arrays are constructed out of dipole antennas connected together to create stations which in turn feed central computing processing facilities. The entire sky can be imaged to arc-second resolution and milli-Jansky sensitivity. Key science drivers range from studying relativistic particles, pulsars, the high red-shift universe and the transient universe. The system proposed starts with a simple single broadband HF dipole and an SDR and continues to expand with GPS timing and beam forming delay lines. Once several terminals are constructed collaboration between the sites will allow for multiple antenna observations thereby significantly increasing the sensitivity and increasing the resolution allowing actual imaging of the radio sky to be accomplished.

SID Program in China, Larry Lu, Riverside, California. Larry is a researcher in the SID program in Guangdong Experimental High School in China. He is now attending La Sierra Academy in Riverside, California as a senior. He will be talking about the research he has done with the SID project.

Studying the Sun with the Solar Dynamics Observatory, Monica Bobra, Stanford University, Stanford, California: In February 2010, NASA launched its most ambitious endeavor to study the Sun -- a spacecraft called the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), designed to simultaneously image the Sun (at a resolution eight times higher than HDTV) from its surface to upper atmosphere in more than 10 different optical and ultraviolet wavelengths. SDO's scientific mission is to understand the origins of space weather -- a continuous, but chaotic and thus far unpredictable plasma streaming off the Sun and buffeting the entire solar system. Extreme examples of spaceweather include solar flares, eruptions that cause aurorae and potentially disrupt space-based technology. To understand and ultimately predict spaceweather, scientists use SDO data to study (1) the solar magnetic field, and (2) how processes like solar flares rapidly convert magnetic energy into kinetic energy. This talk will introduce these topics of study and give an overview of what scientists have learned using SDO data.

SuperSID Update ~ User Challenges, Bill & Melinda Lord will discuss some of the challenges faced by users of the SuperSID VLF receiver

UHF Channel 37 (608 -614 MHz) Total Power Radio Telescope, Curt Kinghorn, San Diego, California: At the 2010 Western Regional Conference, Shad Nygren proposed putting together a radio telescope operating within television's so-called channel 37 band (608 – 614 MHz) to take advantage of the efficiencies available by piggy-backing off of commercially available UHF television antennas and pre-amps. Taking Shad’s suggestion, this paper discusses such a total power radio telescope that can be built for about $500. The telescope has reasonably good performance (~123 dBm of gain) and is very nearly a turn-key system that would work well for beginning as well as more sophisticated amateur radio astronomers. Details of the telescope, including a comparison of its stacked array antenna with other antenna types at this frequency, data obtained by the telescope as well as further possible uses of the telescope (e.g., interferometry) will be presented.