2006 PARSEC Summer Internships
Interns: Anna Castelaz, Matt Brown, Christian Kaltreider, Root Kirbach,
Jessica McNutt, Chris Vorren
Mentors: Brian Dennison, Charles Osborne, Mel Blake, Don Hutchinson and Chuck
Funded in part by:
Project: PARI RFI Survey
Interns: Root Kirbach and Chris Vorren
A detailed survey of radio frequency interference (RFI) sources at PARI, both
from locals sources such as computer and network equipment, and from external
sources such as radio and TV stations, XM satellite, etc.
Project: Feed Evaluation and Analysis
Interns: Root Kirbach, Chris Vorren and Anna Castelaz
The "feed" collects radio signals from the telescope dish in two frequency
bands, each at two polarizations. In this project, the feed was analyzed to
determine the optimum frequency range in each band, and then tuned to maximize
performance. In the figure below, Root explains the feed functionality to
Science Lab Participants.
Project: Microwave Preamplifier Evaluation
Interns: Root Kirbach, Chris Vorren
Preamplifiers for each analysis band (S-band: 2.4 GHz; X-band: 8.3 GHz) were
analyzed for gain stability at a variety of temperatures. The gain variation was
found to be less than 0.1%/K from 280-310K.
Project: Feedbox Temperature Control
Interns: Matt Brown and Christian Kaltreider
Each dish feedbox in the interferometer will be controlled to within 1K, and
an inner enclosure will maintain sensitive RF electronics will be maintained to
0.1K. Temperature control uses multiple solid state Peltier units. A model of
the outer feedbox and inner electronic enclosures was constructed and controlled
to target specifications, and control software was developed in LabView.
Project: Feedbox Mounting System
Intern: Christian Kaltreider
A mounting structure was designed to house the feed for laboratory analysis,
and as part of a feedbox focusing mechanism. The figure below illustrates the
mount attached to the movable cart for laboratory analysis. Construction uses
80-20 modular framing.
Project: Survey of Newly Discovered Nearby Stars
Intern: Jessica McNutt
Recent surveys have discovered faint dwarf stars within about 100 light years
of the Sun, providing a representative sample of the stellar population.
This project, carried out under the guidance of Dr. Mel Blake (PARI), correlates
various properties of these stars, including variability and X-ray emission.