Instrumentation Program for Radio Astronomy (IPRA)

The IPRA offers a unique opportunity for students to conduct front-line scientific research while participating in technology development for radio astronomy. Much of the work in the IPRA is project driven with special emphasis placed on the science. Projects can range from small, individual ventures to the development of large-scale instruments intended for use on modern research-grade radio telescopes. Graduate and undergraduate students from astronomy, physics, electrical engineering, and computer science each have a distinctive role in the Program. Details of currently active and anticipated projects are given below.


A well-equipped radio astronomy instrumentation laboratory forms the core of the IPRA. This 800 sq. ft. facility, located in the Astronomy Department, contains with a clean micro-assembly room, general-purpose ESD-protected electronic work benches, and several computer workstations. The micro-assembly room contains a stereo zoom microscope, soldering stations, cleaning equipment within a chemical fume hood, small hand tools, and other items necessary for the specialized assembly of small-scale electronic components. The electronic test equipment available in the Laboratory includes a 6 GHz vector network analyzer, a 1 GHz sampling oscilloscope, general purpose oscilloscopes, power meters, frequency counters, spectrum analyzers, various signal generators, noise figure meters, a curve tracer, and a logic analyzer. A small anechoic chamber for antenna impedance measurements and a 77 K closed-cycle cryogenic refrigerator are also located within the lab. Computer workstations include a Linux-based data acquisition system and two high-end pc's running state-of-the-art CAD software such as Agilent's ADS, CST's Microwave Studio, Matlab, and AIPS++. An FPGA logic programmer is also available. In the near future, we anticipate acquiring 15 K and 4 K closed-cycle cryogenic refrigerators, general-purpose cryogenic test dewars, a wire bonder, and an on-wafer RF probing station.


Current faculty and scientists involved in instrumentation include:

Current graduate students working on instrumentation :

Current undergraduate students working on instrumentation :

  Research Areas
GBT Beam-Forming Array Receiver
RFI Mitigation