Posts By Hannah Wakeford

Caradon Observatory Open Day

28 April 2014

On April 21st the XRT-S team joined Caradon observatory for their Open Day event. We met lots of people from the community and had the opportunity to talk about the project with a wide range of people. We also got to have a look around the observatory and do some observing of our own looking…READ MORE

Site Found – Caradon Observatory

31 March 2014

On Weds 26th March, the Logistics team and a team leader from each of the other groups journeyed down to visit Caradon Observatory, near Liskeard in Cornwall. Even though the site is not too far from towns and street lights, it boasts some of the darkest skies in England, and as a bonus for Radio…READ MORE

The Science Hour on XpressionFM – Week 8

26 March 2014

 Week 8 of The Science Hour on XpressionFM Hannah Wakeford and Gareth Jones are joined in the XpressionFM studio by Damian Rumble and Benjamin Drummond from the Exeter Radio Telescope Station (XRT-S) a student run project to design, build, and operate their own radio telescope. Damian is one of the projects leaders with Ben as…READ MORE

Building Telescope Model: Mark I

25 March 2014

As the 3D printing model will take a long time to be processed, we decided to make ‘Mark I’ as a temporary model. The model was made really simply with aluminium wire, mesh fabric, wooden dowels, a cork board as a base and an LED with conductive thread (yes… conductive thread). We arranged a workshop…READ MORE

The Radiometer Equation: Part II

24 March 2014

The system temperature Following on from The Radiometer Equation: Part I. The system temperature comprises of the noise generated by things above the antenna that you don’t want to be detected and the thermal noise of the electrical components (e.g. the mixer or amplifier). The noise generated by external sources can be reduced by ensuring…READ MORE

The Radiometer Equation: Part I

22 March 2014

The radiometer equation is one of the fundamental equations of radio astronomy. It defines the ratio of signal to noise. It will determine whether you can see a source given your telescope set-up and external conditions. It is given by, $$ \frac{\mbox{Signal}}{\mbox{Noise}} = \frac{\mbox{Source Temperature}}{\mbox{System Temperature}} \sqrt{\mbox{Bandwidth} \times \mbox{Integreation Time}}$$ This post will look at…READ MORE

First Solidworks Sketches

21 March 2014

We have been using software called Solidworks to make a first 3D sketch for a miniature model of the telescope using a 3D printer. The rotation mechanism consists of two parts; a control rod placed in a small box behind the dish allowing vertical inclination, and a thin rod inside a thicker one allowing for…READ MORE

Struggling To Find A Home

19 March 2014

Our biggest problem so far has been finding a site for our telescope to permanently reside. Our original site fell through due to previously existing planning issues, and it was back to the drawing board. At meetings, while the other teams report good progress and exciting things on the horizon, all we have to report…READ MORE

Information to you: outreach and promotion of the project

18 March 2014

It is always a challenge to get the balance right between too much and too little information when designing a poster or any promotional material for a project or idea. The outreach team have been busy with a number of different activities where this balance becomes very important. This website is an example of a place…READ MORE

What do you need to build a radio telescope?

10 March 2014

Radio telescopes require numerous components in  order to function properly, the dish and stand just being the start of a long list of electrical and mechanical components needed to make it work. These include, but are not limited to; ​Receivers (to pick up the frequency)​ Filters (get rid of any background noise you don’t want (you usually want one per…READ MORE

The Hydrogen Line Part I: 21cm line emission

25 January 2014

The main target of XRT-Station is the 21-cm Hydrogen Line (the HI line). Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe. It exists in several forms: including molecular hydrogen in molecular clouds (that go on to form stars), as plasma in stars and as neutral atomic hydrogen which is ubiquitous throughout the interstellar medium…READ MORE

£2,500 of Catalyst Funding for XRT-S

26 December 2013

The Exeter Radio Telescope – Station Team are proud to announce that they have secured their first funding source from the University of Exeter Catalyst seed fund for raising public engagement in a research environment. The project has been awarded £2,500 for both procurement and public engagement activities relating to the project. The funding focusing…READ MORE