Main Page

From OSRT Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Prof. Kevin Bandura (WVU) with high school teachers and a Science Aficionado Radio Telescope they built and operated

The Open Source Radio Telescopes Project is a resource for radio astronomy telescope construction at any level, from simple feed horns to phased-array feeds and interferometers. Please get involved!

Discussion Forums[edit]

We want your input, and encourage everyone to contribute to our Discussion Forums.

Our main site is We want to get your contributions!'

Telescope Designs[edit]

Evan and Sophie enjoying some observations of our Galaxy

Radio Telescopes can be almost any shape and size, from a single wire to a gigantic structure 100's of meters in diameter. This Open Source Radio Telescope site is a place where students and scientists share their experiences with building telescopes. The first few designs, below, are horn antennas, each with its own unique features. Take a look at these designs, then build your own, that is just a little better!

  • Alexander - an HI horn antenna constructed by the First2Network
Students observing with Alexander, the Telescope they created in Summer 2017
  • Bessie - another HI horn antenna constructed by the First2Network
  • IDEA D1 - 327 MHz, 6ft 3D corner reflector

Please document your improvements here.

LightWork Memo Series[edit]

The LightWork 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. 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.

The first and latest memos are listed below. Please update this section when adding new memos to the LightWork Memo series.

LightWork Memo 14 (pdf): Nathaniel and Regina Observing the sky with a pyramid Horn Radio Telescope
LightWork Memo 15 (pdf): Components of a Radio Telescope


  • LightWork Memo 018 (pdf)(pages) - Software to make a Map Description of the NsfWatch ASCII data format and programs to plot and map the Science Aficionados observations..

Additional Resources[edit]

Larger Scale Home Built Radio Telescope[edit]

A group has incorporated a SDR with a larger, 3.1m, dish and similar SDR electronics. The galactic hydrogen plots of intensity versus velocity are beautiful.

  • A Compact Radio Telescope for the 21 cm Neutral-Hydrogen Line (pdf)

NEW!!! .Detailed description of their 3.1m Neutral Hydrogen telescope and electronics. Their home made resonant band pass filter is particularly impressive.

Block Diagram and image of 3.1m Telescope. From A Compact Radio Telescope for the 21 cm Neutral-Hydrogen Line

Radio Astronomy Supplies[edit]

Student demonstration of a Radio Astronomy Supplies Horn

A number of organizations provide telescopes for sale. Jeffrey M. Lichtman (Ham call sign KI4GIY) sells very sensitive receiver systems. RADIO ASTRONOMY SUPPLIES Phone: 954 554-3739

Canadian Centre for Experimental Radio Astronomy (CCERA)[edit]

The Canadian Centre for Experimental Radio Astronomy is dedicated to providing open-source software and resources for radio telescope designs. Visit CCERA here:

Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy (DSPIRA)[edit]

Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy (DSPIRA) is an NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science Site at the West Virginia University Lane Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The Principal Investigators are Professors Natalia Schmid and Kevin Bandura. The GBO coordinator is Richard Prestage. Check out their website for more details:

Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA)[edit]

The Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) is another great resource for radio telescope building and amateur radio in general. The members are knowledgeable and experienced amateur radio astronomers, and have much to offer on this topic. Check out their website to see what projects they're involved in:

Such A Lovely Small Antenna (SALSA)[edit]

Aficionados can reach across continents to observe with the SALSA (Such A Lovely Small Antenna). These two telescopes are in Sweden, and now use the USRP N210 and GNURadio. Theyare available for free, and can be accessed online by anyone. All information is available in English (and Swedish) at the website These two telescopes are used by students and teachers from all over the world on average 20 hours per week to observe Neutral Hydrogen in our galaxy, to make e.g. a map of a part of the Milky Way. There is also work ongoing to enable them to track satellites, and we have obtained interferometric fringes between the two telescopes (although with a different dual-input USRP). So in principle it can be used to test/try radio interferometry as well, and geodesy, although software is missing for those use cases.

Gnu Radio Software Introduction[edit]

Sophie, Evan and Glen have put together some videos showing the basics of GNU Radio. These video tutorials introduce building a simple GnuRadio programs and producing audio spectra. These videos show simple, fun, examples you can build yourself in a few minutes.

Getting Started on This Wiki[edit]

Please do create yourself an account and start creating pages!

  • If you do not already have an account, click on the Create account link, here or at the top right of any page. Fill in the details.
  • One you have completed that page, you should come back here, and you will find yourself logged in with your new account name.
  • If you already have an account, follow the Log in link, again here or at the top right
  • You should end up here again!
  • To get some practice, select this link: Example Editing Area and try editing some pages!


If you are new to Wiki's and want to practice creating your own, you can get a free account at this site (a MediaWiki wiki). With MediaWiki anyone can feel free to contribute, experiment, and upload content, even if it is not polished or complete.