2015 FNAL-UC Abstract: QuarkNet Radio Telescope

QuarkNet Radio Telescope

S. Qadir – student (Wheaton North)

J. Johanik – student (Metea Valley)

M. Mleczko – student (Wheaton Warrenville South)

C. Stoughton – mentor (Fermilab)

Our purpose during our term was to investigate the possibilities of creating and accurately operating a reasonably priced Radio Telescope designed for High Schools across the nation to use. During our summer, we managed to construct two parabolic dishes and outfitted one dish to a level of producing basic astronomical observations. Our immediate goal for this six-week project was to see the 21-centimeter hydrogen line — a radio signal that indicates the presence of neutral hydrogen in the Milky Way. Our future goal is to run both dishes together and use interferometry to obtain a better overall resolution. Our main vision is to enlist high schools across the nation to build similar radio telescopes and make a QRA (QuarkNet Radio Array) to achieve interferometry. For the summer project, we not only conducted fundamental research on radio telescopes, programmed software, and collected data but we also ironed out potential problems that we encountered or problems high schools could encounter. We hope that teachers can then easily implement radio telescopes at their high schools, helping to build a network of them across the country, all working in harmony to make even stronger measurements of our universe.   

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