Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Itinerary taking shape fast

So things are taking shape fast! Plane tickets and accomodation booked.

The is itinerary coming together. So there will be a little bit of driving. About 17 hours round trip. So what is it all about? Its all about going to the SKA, here;

View Larger Map

And talking to the scientists and engineers! I have a few questions now, mostly about the data, lets start with these;

How much of a difference it makes to put the array in a relatively isolated area like Murchinson?

Whats the comparitive S/N numbers?

How many Antennas, LNA and receivers?

How are they comapring the data from those receivers?

Whats the effective gain of a single array, vesus the whole array versus a single Antennas, LNA and receiver?

Is this pahsed to drive direction?

How to shuffle that volume data around?

How is the data going to be processed?

How is the data going to be used?

How is the data going to be stored for reuse?

There are so many pieces of the puzzle that I haven't seen yet. You can see this is only scratching the surface!

I suppose the big question for TheSkyNet crunching public is how can we help? =D

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Circuit bending the VK5JST Antenna Analyser

You thought you would never use trigonometry after school. Perhaps you though AM radio was dead?

While I have been busy posting VK5JST Antenna Analyser kits for the HAM radio club, Erich has been busy circuit bending!

Its a devious hack! I dare say very unsupported by the kits designer Jim VK5TR/VK5JST.
But as Erich says "if you can't modify the software in the box, you don't own it".

I wonder what other kinds of hacks one can build up from the kit?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Trip to the SKA

I'm a bit excited to be honest. I've never been to Perth or WA. To be honest I've never been more west that Kadina in South Australia.

So there will be a few firsts for me. I have been to see the Parkes radio telescope last year on a trip from Tasmania to Southern Queensland. I had vague recollections of seeing it as a kid on trips through the area, but its *big*. Much bigger than I remembered. The Parkes telescope inspired my reading and interest in robotics. Its one of the reasons that I got into computers and networking. Its also part of the journey that got me into Amateur Radio.

Well, the wheels have been in motion for a while now. Yesterday planning began for a trip to see the SKA! More details as they become available.

In the mean time, if you are interesting in big things, check out this video about the volume of data, comms and computing challenges the SKA faces.



Friday, October 5, 2012

MRO and SKA in the news: All eyes on new telescope in WA

Article from ABC Radio National yesterday.

"The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) has officially been launched" more at; All eyes on new telescope in WA