2016 Abstract from Ryan

Waves to Ones and Zeros:   Data Acquisition in Radio Astronomy 
  Ryan Thornton (Marmion Academy)  Dr. Christopher Stoughton (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory) 
  Abstract    I designed the data recording and analysis of the QuarkNet Radio Telescope, a telescope  designed measure hydrogen’s emission of radio waves of around twenty­one centimeters.  The  telescope is meant to map the hydrogen in the arms of the Milky Way galaxy, and is composed  of a two­meter disk, a feed horn configured to twenty­one centimeter waves, an Airspy receiver  to collect the data and send it to the Raspberry Pi, two linear actuators to rotate the dish, and a  Raspberry Pi 3 to control the Airspy and motors and to record data.  We intend the QuarkNet  Radio Telescope to be inexpensive enough for enterprising high school teams to repeat the  procedures and build a telescope.  I created modules in the GNU Radio program with the programing language Python to average  data using the Welch method and record the data to hdf5 files.  To store the data, I set up a  data storage system to transfer data from the Raspberry Pi 3 to the virtual server acting as a  control and storage system.  I then created the data analysis program using Python to display  the data in a waterfall plot format.