2020 SARA Western Conference Abstracts

2020 SARA Western Conference Abstracts


Building a Custom Space Weather Dashboard

Keith Payea


The Space Weather Prediction Center at NOAA offers a number of "dashboard" products aimed at various industry and governmental users, including one for Space Weather Enthusiasts like me.  They also offer much of the raw data in relatively accessible format.  This talk will cover the design and construction of my own unique Space Weather Dashboard based on a Raspberry Pi single board computer.

Reducing Observations from


Radio-Telescope Archives

Dr. Richard A. Russel


The large interferometry antenna systems maintain online archives of all of the observations conducted through their history. These observations can be processed (reduced) using CASA software. The results provide images of the astronomical objects as well as polarization, Jansky signal strength, relative velocity as well as chemical signature measurements. A number of archive files were downloaded and reduced. The analysis of the results, as well as the research on the astronomical objects, provides an excellent learning opportunity for the amateur radio astronomer.



Direct Sampling Input on RASDR2

for 15-28MHz Spectral Observations

Bogdan Vacaliuc


This project describes how to determine if the RASDR2 can be used with a pre-amplifier, bandpass filter and matching network to sample HF signals using the ADC bypass port.  It would collect HF at wide bandwidth and high sensitivity to provide an evolution to an FSK analog receiver.


I will report on progress characterizing the ADC bypass port and describe a preliminary design for the pre-amp and bandpass filter.


Microwave SETI

Geographically-spaced Synchronized Signal Detection System

Skip Crilly


Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is a confounding problem in radio SETI, as false positives are introduced into receiver signals. Various methods exist to attempt to excise suspected RFI, with a possibility that true positives are rejected, and that un-excised RFI remain as false positives. Uncertain far side-lobe antenna patterns add to the uncertainty. To ameliorate the RFI problem, a system having geographically-spaced simultaneous and synchronized pulse reception has been implemented. A radio telescope at the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia has been combined with a radio telescope of the Deep Space Exploration Society, near Haswell, Colorado, and a telescope in New Hampshire, to implement a spatial filter having a thrice-Moon-distance transmitter rejection. Approximately 135 hours of simultaneous synchronized pulse observations have been captured from November 2017 through February 2019,  45 hours captured in April 2019, 86 hours using two telescopes and 36 hours using three telescopes, the latter two observations during December 2019. This presentation describes the problem, observation system, observed results and proposed hypotheses to be subjected to attempts at refutation and relative inference, through further experimentation, and RFI and ETI transmitter signal model development.


Python Program for Mitigating Radio Frequency Interference

Observed in SpectraCyber Receiver Drift Scan Data Files

Jon Ayres

Deep Space Exploration Society


The Colorado Springs Deep Space Exploration Society (DSES) is developing capability for collecting 21-cm HI Line drift scan data on the club’s 60-foot parabolic dish antenna.  Initial efforts have collected drift scans using a 9-foot parabolic dish interfaced to a SpectraCyber I receiver.  These initial scans show that HI Line data is being collected; however, the desired data includes corrupted samples caused by numerous Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) events and also exhibits signal level offsets thought to be due to component temperature changes.  This initial progress report demonstrates and describes a method for automated removal of transient RFI events using a Python program that is part of the DSES drift scan development effort.  This report also outlines future goals.


Astronomical Interferometry

and Satellite RFI

David Westman


The basic idea of an astronomical interferometer is the combination of waveform signals from different array elements so that they reinforce each other, by shifting the peaks of the signals to be in phase with each other.  A review of the principles of antenna design will be followed by some remarks on the processing of data from interferometers.   We will also discuss sources of radio frequency interference, especially the StarLink project.



Solar Activity Observatory

Maria Isabel Perez Martinez, Carla Nieto and Claudia Escobedo Galvan

Zacatecas, Mexico


One of the main purposes of a Solar Activity Observatory, is, indeed to continuously observe the Sun and the determine the possible consequences, of solar activity, in some weather parameters. In order to achieve this, we use a RadioJOVE, both receptor and antenna, to observe solar emission in radio, on the weather side, we use a weather station based on an Arduino interface. In this sense, we present four months of solar observations, our main results, and the construction and performance of our weather station.


Radio JOVE Observations of the Galactic Radio Background

at HAARP,  Gakona, Alaska

Whitham D. Reeve


A Radio JOVE receiver and dual dipole antenna were installed at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility in Alaska in early August 2019. After the installation was finished, the daily data was plotted to see if the system is sensitive enough to detect the galactic background radiation at 20.1 MHz. The plot showed a broad peak in the noise floor corresponding to the time when the Milky Way galaxy was in direct view of the antenna and confirmed good system sensitivity and a low noise environment in spite of periodic interference from a nearby DigiSonde. A single plot is interesting but it is more interesting to plot the data regularly for several months to show how the peak in the radio background received by the system shifts both in amplitude and time as the seasons change from fall to winter. This presentation describes the observations and the problems obtaining them due to harsh winter weather. Included are a brief discussion of the galactic background radiation, a description of the Radio Jove instrumentation at the HAARP facility, a summary of the observations obtained for the six months between mid-August 2019 and mid-February 2020, and discussion of the weather-related problems encountered and their proposed remedy.


The LoFASM Project and the

McMath-Hulbert Astronomical Society (MHAS)

Ken Redcap


The Low Frequency All Sky Monitor (LoFASM) is an array of 12 Long Wavelength Array Active Crossed-Dipole Antennas and associated hardware operating the frequency range of 10-88 MHz. LoFASM was developed by The Center for Advanced Radio Astronomy (CARA) at the University of Texas—Rio Grande Valley and is primarily designed to detect fast radio transients. The study of astronomical time domain events has become a priority in recent years and such events include: gravity waves, fast radio bursts, gamma- and X-ray bursts. In radio astronomy, the wavelengths of 3 to 30 meters are a relatively unexplored range and instruments such as the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) and the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) are already addressing this area of inquiry.  One of the nice features of this program is that students can be involved with the setup of the system and analysis of the data.  At MHAS one of our missions is to involve students in scientific educational opportunities and this project could be used to reach underserved students in the Detroit metro area where we are located.