Week One Preparation

DARE Frequency vs. Time Plot

Hello everyone! Here is a quick update on what is going on to prepare for the big trip to Australia.
Last week Judd worked on consolidating the data that DARE has been gathering in Green Bank, West Virginia. Below is a picture of the frequency plots of the sky. The vertical lines across the picture are radio frequency interference (RFI) from FM radio, TV stations, planes, local electronics, etc. The plot shows the frequency versus the time. So as the figure goes from left to right, the frequency changes from 0 to 500 MHz. As you look at the figure from bottom to top, the time of day is changing. The red on the plot means that at that point in time the antenna is picking up a very strong signal and the blue means that there is a very weak signal. The little red band in the orange region of the plot is the FM radio band. This is just one plot of several that have been made, but all of them are very consistent. This is very reassuring, because it signifies that the antenna is gathering reliable data.
Hamdi and I have been working on creating a new power supply for the signal generator. This new power supply with be replacing the circuit we built in West Virginia.

Hamdi and the Power Supply

That circuit was very make shift, so this new one is more permanent for the mission that will be set in motion in Australia. This new project required a few new tools and components. Saturday, in the beautiful Arizonan weather, we set off to the electronics mecca, Fry’s Electronics. We spent about 3 hours there going through all the different components and supplies. It was a successful trip! Hamdi went on to finish the shopping list of all the things needed for the trip to Australia at a few other electronics stores.

All of the Merchandise

We have three more weeks to finish everything! I will keep you posted on all the advances we make to reach our goal of leaving the DARE antenna all set up collecting data in the Outback.