Radio Astronomy in Undergraduate Education
A SARA Regional Meeting was held on 16 November 2002 (during the Leonids meteor shower), at the Tamke-Allan Observatory of Roane State Community College in Eastern Tennessee. The meeing was organized by:
David E. Fields, Ph. D.
Roane State Community College
276 Patton Lane
Harriman, TN 37748-5011
865 882-4533 (Math-Sciences Division)
Home page: www.roanestate.edu/obs/
Charles Osborne reports:
David had invited a variety of hams and area astronomy club members to the
event, which drew anywhere from 20-30 people depending upon where/when you
took roll. Wanda Diaz and Omyra Aviles even came up from University of
Puerto Rico to present and attend. We met on campus Saturday morning in a
nice size ampitheatre style classroom with some excellent AV equipment.
Later we went to their off site observatory on a knoll overlooking the
A classroom adjoins the observatory dome. And as you can see, David has a
couple of dishes at the observatory. And he has a SpectraCyber system. He
also has JOVE/SkyPipe with Internet connectivity from there.
A copy of the schedule is pasted in below. Haystack Observatory had to
pre-empt our remote control demo for rocket launch tracking. And we had some
difficulties with the Internet Firewalls.. but I think we're all learning a
lot about the challenges of doing live demos over networks. My unrehearsed
demo of FFT signal processing of a live 217 MHz radar signal out of Alabama
for meteor observing worked better than expected using a 6 element yagi
lashed to the railing outside.
Saturday night was a public night at the observatory, so we returned after
supper for some additional talks. Even though the clouds precluded any
telescope viewing, several people come up just to see the lecture that
Sunday the Dean of Math and Science, Dr. Adolf King, invited Wanda, Omyra,
David, Janis, and I over to his house for lunch. He seemed very pleased with
the way the mini-conference came off. So was I.
A lot of fun was had by all.
The schedule for the meeting was as follows:
MORNING SESSION - Main RSCC Campus (Harriman)
0920 John Mannone, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Multispectral Radio Astronomy
0940 Charles Osborne, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI)
Education and Research Initiatives at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
1000 Wanda Diaz and Omayra Aviles, University of Puerto Rico
Applications of the University of Puerto Rico Radio Telescope (UPRT)
Radio Jove Projects in High School Teaching
1030 David Fields, Carl Lyster and Bill Howe, Tamke-Allan Observatory, Roane State Community College and Martin Marietta Corp.
Historic and Current Meteor Monitoring Activity
1050 Ken Roy, Ultimax Corporation
1110 LUNCH -- Cracker Barrel In Harriman
1330 AFTERNOON SESSION - Tamke-Allan Observatory
1330 Jim Thieman (on-line from Alaska, with Alaska Teacher's workshop) NASA/GSFC
Special Coordinated Solar Observing Time over Jove Network (solar observing)
1330-1530 EST TAO will be on-line observing solar emission for this event.
1330 Andy McFall, Wanda Diaz and David Fields, Tamke-Allan Observatory, Roane State Community College
Monitoring Radio Signals from Jupiter and the Sun (demonstration)
1400 Carl Lyster, Martin Marietta Corporation
Construction of a Neutral Hydrogen Spectrometer: Detection of Interstellar Hydrogen (demonstration)
1430 Eric Gern, Stan Kurtz and David Fields, Tamke-Allan Observatory, Roane State Community College
Remote Operation of the MIT Haystack Radio Telescope (demonstration)
1500 Charles Osborne, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI)
217 MHz Meteor Scatter using Naval Space Radar (demonstration)
1530 Wanda Diaz and Omayra Aviles, University of Puerto Rico
Remote Operation of the NRAO 40-foot Radio Telescope (demonstration)
1600 DINNER -- Cancun's In Harriman
1900 PUBLIC NIGHT AT TAMKE-ALLAN OBSERVATORY
1900 Roy Morrow, Tamke-Allan Observatory, Roane State Community College
1945 D.R. Fudge, J.A. Jones Corporation
Comments from the Obstreperous Astronomer
SUNDAY OPTIONAL EVENT - Visit To PARI (coordinated by Charles Osborne)
Thanks to Chuck Higgins of Middle Tennessee State University for sending Project Jove brochure handouts. Thanks to Dr. Wade McCamey and Dr. Adolf King of Roane State Community College for their encouragement. Thanks to Charles and Janis Osborne for helping contact the SARA members and for planning a visit to PARI.