Low noise RF filters have already changed radio astronomy quite a bit. However, they’ve usually been based around regular commercial, multi-stage receiver technology. Radio devices have progressed a great deal, especially considering the fact that the transistor has made them so much smaller. Custom designed components would have a number of benefits as well.
This isn’t to say that countless custom designs aren’t in service already. RF devices have simply developed along a certain path. This has allowed discoveries found in one scientific field to be used in many others. While this sort of system is beneficial, it has also forced many researchers to prefer developing components that could be used for countless applications.
Adventurous experimenters might want to try their hand at radio astronomy. They might feel they have nothing to lose. Taking a few proper safety and legal precautions are a must in the field. Some technology is not supposed to be used without a license, especially if it can transmit a signal. Reception of certain signals also might be unlawful. So be careful!
Nevertheless, home experimenters have pushed the boundaries of science in many ways. Hobbyists don’t have to worry about research grants or political motives. That means they might be the ones discovering quasars in the near future.
Image Credit: http://www.kolumbus.fi/michael.fletcher/ra_test.htm
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