First annual Telescope Tune Up Day !

We had great success at our first Annual Telescope Tune Up day yesterday ! 

We had about 18 people bring in telescopes for cleaning, alignment, and instruction ! 

Thanks to our hardworking volunteers ! 

Ken Kressler

Don Chamberlin

Dave Thompson

Tom Yale 

Thanks to Steve Fentress and Strasenburgh for allowing us to set up in the lobby.

All of our customers were very happy and excited we were able to help them.

Solar Radio Telescope Update – August 2016

Update – August 2016 :

Solar Radio Telescope

The goal of this project is to study the RF signature of Sunspots, as part of the eCallisto global network. We’re going to be filling a big gap in their coverage map as there are no receivers on the east coast. If you’ve been following our activities you already know we’ve demonstrated this project’s ability to autonomously track the Sun regardless of the weather, with NO human intervention,  demonstrated at the RIT Imagine festival last year (photo, right).

This coming school year our plans are getting even bigger, with our sights on full automatic operation of all the functions, including automatic calibration, RFI noise removal and data file transfer to Zurich, SZ.

‘Stay tuned’ for status reports as we become fully operational, with student designed and built modules for a fully working system.     Our expected ‘first light’ is May 2017.

  • Marty Pepe

solar_radio_students

ASRAS NEEDS YOU !

ASRAS NEEDS YOU !

Please consider volunteering for future ASRAS events.

We are badly in need of some help for the following activities :

Strasenburgh scope on Sat nights !

Star parties ! (contact Jim Seidewand)

Outreach events ! (contact Joe Alteri)

Mowing at Ionia ! (contact Bob McGovern)

Thanks !

Joel

Welcome to the new ASRAS website !

Welcome to the new site everybody !

  • Please be patient while we put the finishing touches on our new wordpress website.
  • We do NOT have member log-ins yet. It will take a while to figure out what to make private and public.
  • See something broken ? Feature missing that the original had ? Please let webmaster Joel Schmid know.
  • We are looking for ASRAS web-site contributors ! Please let – you guessed it – webmaster Joel Schmid know if you would like to learn how to put cool astro-stuff on the website !

 

UPDATE NOV 2015

RadioTelescopeteam_9_13_15

We are in our third year of active development projects to look at the night sky in the Radio Spectrum and have been able to complete some major accomplishments. This past school year has seen both the University of Rochester (U of R), and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) deliver critical elements to the Solar Radio Spectroscope.

For our educational outreach event, we hosted a Boy Scout troop in Ionia (Pix_1), for a sleep over this last spring and were able to make our Portable Radio Telescope (PBT – itty bitty radio telescope) operational. It’s now completely portable, with battery power for ‘field’ use, with a high resolution turntable (better than 2 degrees angular resolution, Pix_2). Scouts had a great time ‘seeing’ their own body heat giving off RF energy, looking at the RF emissions from the Sun and finding Geosynchronous satellites in Earth orbit.

The Solar Radio Telescope project is coming together nicely. The purpose of this project is to study RF emissions from and ‘Angry’ Sun (visible sunspots, Pix # 3). We are elated that our Solar RT project was selected by RIT’s engineering department’s competition for their senior design activities. A team of seven students (Pix_4) designed phase II for our project to track the Sun in its daily movement. This effort includes customer requirements, animated simulations of the Sun’s movement from summer through winter, the PC, electronic controls, software, servos, and mechanical mounts. The spring semester saw this concept design executed in hardware, built in the RIT model shop, debugged in the lab, and then installed in Ionia! The pinnacle of this effort saw completely autonomous operation of Sun tracking without any human intervention (Pix_5), publically demonstrated at RIT’s Imagine Festival in May 2015 (Pix_6). Additionally, this design ‘puts itself to bed’ at night, knows when to look to the East for sunrise, and has a high wind ‘safe mode position (zenith), and park service (maintenance) position.

If this (above) accomplishment wasn’t enough, work done by the U of R team, allowed us to implement the real horizon in ‘Radio Eyes’ (our RF star data base). And their software control of the Callisto receivers allowed us to complete a RF site survey of the Ionia ‘scope location (Pix_7). Our proof of concept prototype was able to characterize the potential interfering emitters at the Ionia site (Pix_8), and provide actual usable RF Sun emission data. This work has established a new (potentially proprietary) mathematical technique for active noise cancellation of base (fixed location) interfering emitters. To our knowledge, no one in the Radio Telescope and/or eCallisto development community has seen this before.

Our plans for this coming year include expanding the small dome building (adjacent to our installation) enabling a corner of the building to act as an operator/debug station, a high speed internet and AC power connection, batch data transfer to Zurich, and system software integration.

Sincerely,

Martin J Pepe