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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] radio astronomy fast radio burst help requested

From: Marcus D. Leech
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] radio astronomy fast radio burst help requested
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 23:25:38 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.7.0

On 03/31/2016 11:10 PM, Dan wrote:
Hello Radio Heads,

Back in 2001 a burst at 1.4 Ghz from the sky was detected and is known as the 
Lorimer burst.
Since then, other groups have detected FRB…Fast Radio Bursts that are very 
strong, appear to be extragalactic, and short…milliseconds in duration.

The current theories included young objects that beam radiation. Recent reports 
suggests repeating pulses, or repeaters.
Very interesting with work to do!

Some have reported observations using a dipole.

I want to explore a package using a GPS synchronized spectra cadence that would 
allow dipole based receivers to stream data from around the globe
in an attempt to create a large radio telescope that could localize these 

This is where you come in.

I ask you to help me come up with a hardware/software package that uses an SDR 
tuned to frequencies with bandwidths of ten Megahertz synchronized by GPS
and channelized to 128 bins at 100 microseconds per frame.

Astronomical bursts travel through Plasma that cause a delay as a function of 
frequency known as dispersion.

Local electronic interference like cattle fence, are not so dispersed. Having 
wide bandwidth helps sort out the signals that are relevant.
Having 20 or so receivers around the globe really helps eliminate interference and by time of arrival, can localize the position in the sky.

I have played with gnu radio and used SDR to explore radio spectra from LF to 
Ghz and all that.

I am not great at gnu radio and know that most in this group have greater 
skills than I.

If you would be so kind as to suggest how we may come up with a way to produce 
GPS synchronized spectra, we may be able to make it happen.
I envision a band limited preamplifier feeding some SDR with a raspberry 
PI…..FPGA? with a GPS to time tagging the data  that could be transmitted over 
the internet.

 From what I gather from the astronomical chatter, is that 400 to 600 Mhz maybe 
is the peak of this emission…yet we do not know.

Thus the package would allow one to select a center frequency depending on 
local interference.

Thank you for your time and consideration

This doesn't sound that hard, but RFI in 400-600Mhz range in most parts of the world is going to be horrific.

The folks looking for EOR hydrogen signature are in the same frequency range, and have significant challenges. Not to say impossible,
  but certainly challenging.

The DSP/SDR/GR side of things is pretty trivial compared to finding suitable locations.

I was at Arecibo a couple of years ago, and was aghast to discover that a lot of lower-frequency spectrum was completely useless there :(

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