Light Work Memos

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The Light Work Memo series is an informal series of numbered memoranda on topics related to Citizen Science with Radio Telescopes.

This series is intended to encourage the public in the United States, and throughout the world, to collaborate on the design, construction and operation of Radio Telescopes for the purpose of furthering science, engineering and education. LightWork memos series guidelines are described in Memo 0, below. The creation of a memo series is motivated by the success that a focused memo series can have on organizing design and construction of large astronomical facilities.

The memo series title has two implications. The first is that this memo series concerns Work with radio wavelength Light. The second is that we envision that those developing the radio telescopes will grow a large collaboration, making a significant contribution to the worlds understanding of the universe. Many hands make LightWork.

Active memos have boldface titles.

Light Work Memo 14: Nathaniel and Regina Observing the sky with a pyramid Horn Radio Telescope
Light Work Memo 15: Components of a Radio Telescope
  • LightWork Memo 000 (pdf) (pages) - Memo inviting contributions, and providing guidelines, to the LightWork Memo Series
    • Glen Langston, 2017 August 11, Status: Active
    • Initial memo in the series inviting others to contribute to the topic of Citizen Science with Radio Telescopes
  • LightWork Memo 001 (pdf) - First System temperature Measurements with a horn antenna.
    • Glen Langston, 2015 July 1, Status: Obsolete
    • First real memo in the series, after a large number of attempts at getting a good number system temperature.
  • LightWork Memo 002 (pdf) - Report on system temperature after a number of modifications
    • Glen Langston, 2015 July 4, Status: Obsolete
    • Report on improvements after modifications. Author was coming to grips with the fact that the real system temperature was > 500K!.
  • LightWork Memo 003 (pdf) - Measurements of system gain as a function of feed probe placement.
    • Glen Langston, 2015 July 28, Status: Active
    • Report observations and best fit results from a series of measurements of the gain as a function of feed probe positions.
  • LightWork Memo 004 (pdf) - Full system description of first working horn antenna.
    • Glen Langston, 2015 July 7, Status: Active
    • Full description of the Folded horn design for a radio telescopes after numerous improvements to the amplifier system.
  • LightWork Memo 005 (Not Yet Available)] - Design and measurements of the performance of a rectangular waveguide filter for Citizen Science
    • Glen Langston, 2015 July 19, Status: Incomplete
    • Design and measurements of a waveguide filter for citizen science. This filter is constructed from metal fins in the waveguide cavity to reduce the noise contribution. The initial measurements of performance were good, but this filter is designed for rectangular waveguides.
  • LightWork Memo 006 (pdf)(pages) - Sketch of amplifier board design for Citizen Science Radio Telescopes
    • Glen Langston, 2015 July 7, Status: Active
    • Sketch of a design of a general purpose, but ultra low noise, amplifier board for radio astronomy. Status is Active, but further work is needed.
  • LightWork Memo 007 (Obsolete) - Design and measurements of the performance of small horn antenna r for Citizen Science
    • Glen Langston, 2016 January 8, Status:Obsolete
    • Construction of a small (14x10inch) horn for use in the classroom. Improved version created and documented in LightWork Memo 9.
  • LightWork Memo 008 (pdf)(pages) ] - Measurements of performance of amplifier system using low cost LNA4ALL amplifiers.
    • Glen Langston, 2016 February 17, Status: Active
    • The system performance with the LNA4ALL amplifiers was very poor. Use of exclusively LNA4ALL amplifiers are not recommended for Radio Astronomy. These tests were performed to see if acceptable performance could be achieved with very low cost amplifiers. The results were not good.
  • LightWork Memo 009 (pdf)(pages) - Measurements of performance of amplifier system using ZX60-P103LN+ amplifiers
    • Glen Langston, 2016 March 22, Status: Active
    • Measurements of performance with Mini-Circuits ZX60-P103LN+ amplifiers. System temperature of > 300K. Phasing out use of LNA4ALL products.
  • LightWork Memo 010 (pdf)(pages) - Measurements with aluminum foam board horn and improved infrastructure
    • Glen Langston, 2016 August 30, Status: Active
    • System performance measurements with improved infrastructure and Aluminum foam board.
  • LightWork Memo 011 (Obsolete) - Tests of input power strength to search for anomalous spectra shapes measured.
    • Glen Langston, 2016 September 27, Status: Obsolete
    • Radio Astronomer Jay Lockman, of GBO, pointed out that the spectral shape of the measurements did not match observations with the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope. This memo tested input power levels to determine if system gain problems were creating the erroneous spectra. Some problems were found and corrected before the memo was completed. See Memo 14 .
  • LightWork Memo 012 (Obsolete) - Further tests of input power and amplifier chain.
    • Glen Langston, 2016 October 31, Status: Obsolete
    • This memo tested input filters to determine if system gain problems were creating the erroneous spectra. Some problems were found and corrected before the memo was completed. See Memo 14.
  • LightWork Memo 013 (Obsolete) - Software tests to track down spectrum image.
    • Glen Langston, 2016 November 22, Status: Obsolete
    • Found that something about the software for AIRSPY data packing was causing spectrum images. Test data superseded by results of Memo 14.
  • LightWork Memo 014 (pdf)(pages) - Galactic Mapping with Horn and Amplifier box
    • Glen Langston, 2017 February 17, Status: Active
    • Functioning home radio telescope with excellent sensitivity. Software fixed and initial mapping software created.
  • LightWork Memo 015 (pdf)(pages) - Science Aficionados Amplifier Box B
    • Glen Langston, 2017 May 11, Status: Active
    • Description of individual parts of a Citizen Science Radio Telescope, with some notes on assembly.
  • LightWork Memo 016 (pdf)(pages) - Commercial Parts list for Amplifier Box B
    • Glen Langston, 2017 May 25, Status: Active
    • Description, with parts list and cost estimates, for a home built, ultra low noise radio astronomy receiver system.