We will fly a large hexacopter drone with a weak radio transmitter to calibrate the beam pattern of a radio telescope. We will design a signal to be transmitted out of a fast FPGA-controlled digital to analog converter, basically making our own software defined radio (SDR). We will receive the signal with a fast analog to digital converter and perform digital signal processing to compare the two signals. Our on-campus “telescope” will be an antenna on an amateur astronomy telescope mount that can point it in different direction to map out its beam pattern. Part of the project will be to design and build something to mount the antenna and transmitter to the drone. Two or three students will participate. You must be willing to commit 4, 8, or 12 hours/week on this project in the spring.
Please list your relevant experience, detailing your particular contribution to any group projects.
Drones and software-defined radio are fun and emerging technologies. The project will help radio astronomy research. My group also does optics and quantum entanglement work, but this project is unrelated.