P17571: Sunspot Radio Telescope


Project Summary Project Information

Our goal for our MSD project is to add greater functionality and to continue Team P15571’s work on their Sunspot Radio Telescope for the Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy of Science ASRAS. A sunspot radio telescope, or solar spectrograph is not a telescope by traditional means, in that it measures the RF emissions coming from the Sun, specifically the Sun’s sunspots. Sunspots are massive dark spots on the Sun’s surface that can be prone to emitting large quantities of radiation for reasons not fully understood. ASRAS who are working with another sunspot astronomy team in Zurich, CZ recently realized that there are no solar spectrographs in the Northern United States. Adding one would clear up a blind spot and provide ASRAS and Zurich astronomers as well as student researchers the ability to study these phenomena.

The functionality being added will include network capability to allow for the remote and autonomous operation of the solar spectrograph. A system to allow for automatic uplink to the Zurich, CZ servers will also be added. TeamViewer software will also be added to allow for students to analyze the data. As for physical items, a feed-horn antenna, uninterruptable power supply (UPS), low noise amplifier (LNA) as well as a remote calibrating antenna device will also be incorporated into the final design.
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Project Name
Sunspot Radio Telescope
Project Number
Project Family
Aerospace Systems and Technology
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Mr. Louis J. Beato, ljbeec@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Mr. Martin Pepe, mjpastro@gmail.com
ASRAS – Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy of Science, Farash Foundation, Frontier Communications

Team Members

[From left to right: Jeffrey Sylor, Nathaniel Peck, Brendan Parke, Zachary Smith, Jeffrey Kaiser, Adam Hargrave]
Member Role Contact
Brendan Parke Mechanical Engineer brp3916@rit.edu
Jeffrey Kaiser Electrical Engineer jnk5046@rit.edu
Nathaniel Peck Electrical Engineer nrp8247@rit.edu
Zachary Smith Computer Engineer zds3101@rit.edu
Jeffrey Sylor Electrical Engineer jls7040@g.rit.edu
Adam Hargrave Electrical Engineer anh1005@g.rit.edu

Table of Contents


Team's Norms and Values

Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation