The Success of the Week

Last week the team was at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia doing all of the initial set up and testing of the freshly built antenna for the mission DARE. Over the course of the week, I provided little snippets of our progress. In the midst of the hustle and bustle to get back to Arizona for a new week of classes, I missed out on giving the full overview of all the week’s work.


On Friday morning, we had finished all the set up and solved all the problems. The last thing to do was put everything together and see if all our hard work paid off. Once everything was hooked up, there was a pause before we turned the whole system on – and to everyone’s great joy, everything was “up and running” as Hamdi would put it.

Sarah-left, Abhi-middle, Hamdi-right, Judd- Photographer

We drove back to the cafeteria for our last lunch at the NRAO, and then Hamdi, Judd, and Abhi went hard at work to finish the last bit of code. Once this was done, we just left the system running, and it has been collecting data ever since. This week we are hoping to begin analyzing the data to see if it matches up with what we predicted it would.

Overall this entire trip was a huge success! Not only did we get the whole system working and collecting data, but we all bonded over the experience. Being the newest to the team and the least experienced, I would have to commend this whole group for their knowledge, diligence, optimism, and patience. I learned so much from everyone! When I didn’t understand or did not have any experience with something, no one was impatient, but answered my question with detail and enthusiasm. No one ever got discouraged if something was not working properly, but mulled through their knowledge of the subject at hand and came up with a solution. .On a project like this one, this whole set of characteristics is necessary to build a working piece of machinery that works to discover and explain something that has never been observed before. I am looking forward to working with everyone so much more in the future
In only four short weeks the same team, except for Abhi , who will be hard at work in Boulder, Colorado, will be traveling to Australia. All of the equipment that we set up in West Virginia will be shipped to Australia for further, and hopefully better, data collection. The reason we are hoping for better data in Australia is because there is less RFI (Radio Frequency Interference).

Hamdi With His Morning Coffee

Until this trip, we will just be preparing all of the additional equipment and perfecting all the data analysis code.

Hope to have more to update to you all soon!