Abstracts ~ SARA 2013 Western Regional Conference

February 9 and 10, 2013, Socorro, NM


The Long Wavelength Array, Frank Schinzel, NRAO, New Mexico


Abstract: The first station of the Long Wavelength Array (LWA1), co-located with NRAO's Very Large Array in the Plains of San Agustin, New Mexico, is currently undergoing commissioning and its first science observations from two calls for proposals. The core of the array consists of 257 dual-polarization dipoles distributed over a footprint forming an ellipse of 110 by 100 meters. Additional five dual-polarization dipoles are spread at distances from 150 to about 500 meter from the center of LWA1. The signals from each dipole are digitized and either recorded individually or are combined into beams. Four of these independently-steerable dual-polarization beams are available, each with two tunings of 16 MHz bandwidth that can be independently tuned to any frequency between 5 and 88 MHz. This paper provides an overview of the station architecture and technical aspects of the telescope. It also briefly presents early science results demonstrating the versatile capabilities of this new instrument, which range from observations of Pulsars, Solar/Jupiter bursts, the Ionosphere, and the imaging of lightning.



e-CALLISTO Software Tools and Demonstrations, Whitham D. Reeve, Anchorage, Alaska


Abstract: e-CALLISTO is a worldwide network of solar radio spectrometers. The network consists of flexible, frequency-agile Callisto instruments that receive solar radio activity and produce digitized data. The data are uploaded to a PC under software control, processed into standard flexible image transport system (FITS) files and then uploaded via the internet to a server at ETH-Zurich in Switzerland where the data are freely available. The Callisto instrument also is an inexpensive and reliable device for monitoring and recording radio frequency interference, performing radio frequency surveillance and for animal tracking. To support this activity, from reception to data uploading, viewing and testing, a number of software application tools have been developed in addition to several off-the-shelf software applications. This paper briefly describes these freely available software tools. Presentation at the 2013 SARA Western Conference includes live demonstrations of Callisto receiver and associated software tools.



Using Radio Jove in Public Astronomy, Keith Payea


Abstract: The Robert Ferguson Observatory in California’s Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a facility dedicated to interpreting Astronomy for the public. In addition to a regular schedule of Night Sky events and classes, the RFO is also open for Public Solar Observing. We set up white light and Hydrogen Alpha filtered telescopes to let the public observe sunspots and solar prominences. To add to the experience, we also have a Radio Jove system set up in our classroom and use it to explain some of the inner workings of the sun. This was originally a temporary setup for each event, but we have installed permanent antenna on the roof, and are working toward the goal of internet accessible 24/7 operation. In my talk I will discuss the ways we use Radio Astronomy and Radio Jove in this setting along with some of the challenges we have faced.



Solar Radio Spectra Observed with e-CALLISTO, Christian Monstein & Whitham Reeve


Abstract: A catalog of different solar radio spectra is presented. Spectra are observed at different locations worldwide and with different antenna systems within the e-Callisto network. Observations have taken place since 2004. The catalog consists of spectrograms all of which have been produced in the same way: bad channels with high standard deviation σ are eliminated, average background noise level subtracted, and spectra zoomed to the interesting part of the burst.



Techniques for Mains Noise Reduction in VLF Radio Observing, Keith Payea


Abstract: Most of us do not have the luxury of moving to a remote location to get away from power line noise which affects our ability to observe VLF radio phenomena. This talk will discuss two techniques I have used to reduce the amplitude of the power line interference in my real-life suburban observing location. Both techniques use noise cancellation rather than simple filtering.



Ongoing SARA Projects, Bill Lord and Tom Hagen


Abstract: This presentation covers 1) Work by Bill Lord and Tom Hagen to create a new version of the SuperSID front end for the Stanford SuperSID monitoring program. This receiver is designated as Version 3 and is based on a previous Stanford-designed prototype; and 2) Work by Bill Lord and Tom Hagen to create a SuperSID troubleshooting tool called the “Comberator” to aid individuals in the setup and troubleshooting of SuperSID installations worldwide. Many individuals have had problems setting up their SuperSID and a simple device to help in this process is proposed.

The New EVLA Dry-Air System, James Boswell, NRAO, New Mexico


Abstract: TBD....



Teaching Radio Astronomy in Schools, Jim Moravec



Abstract: TBD....