Improved Detection of Radio Waves from Space

The dish of the radio telescope based in Yebes, Spain, measures more than 13 meters across. Here, the researchers will implement their high-performance radio wave reception technology for the first time. © Instituto Geográfico National

The dish of the radio telescope based in Yebes, Spain, measures more than 13 meters across. Here, the researchers will implement their high-performance radio wave reception technology for the first time. © Instituto Geográfico National

Together with their Spanish colleagues from the Instituto Geográfico Nacional and the University of Cantabria, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg have developed a very sensitive high frequency amplifier for radio telescopes used on Earth. The amplifier generates extremely little internal electromagnetic noise and will help measure our planet from space more precisely than ever before. Read More →

Radio Astronomy Equipment

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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