Salvaging a 2 meter dish antenna for radio astronomy

On Sunday March 9, 2019 a group of Deep Space Exploration Society members in Colorado Springs salvaged a 2 meter diameter satellite dish antenna, to repurpose it for solar radio astronomy. The antenna came from the KCME commercial broadcast station, which was no longer using it. The group moved the antenna to the home of DSES member Floyd Glick. Floyd will configure and test it there, to use for solar radio astronomy. It will then eventually be moved to the group’s Plishner antenna site in Kiowa County.

The DSES members who participated were Steve Plock, Ed Corn, Floyd Glick, Myron Babcock, Bill Miller, Bob Haggard, and Gary Agranat.

Here are some photos from the move, taken by Bob Haggard, and one photo by Gary Agranat.

Three DSES members judge at 2019 Pikes Peak Regional Science Fair

Deep Space Exploration Society members Bill Miller, Gary Agranat, and Tony Bigbee participated as judges at the 2019 Pikes Peak Regional Science Fair. The Fair was held at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs University Center building on Saturday February 23rd.  This year 115 students from 20 schools presented projects. The purpose of the fair is to encourage students to take more active interest in the study of science and mathematics, to encourage experiment and consideration of science careers, and to provide a means of reward and recognition.  Informally the fair gives students an opportunity to interact with and get helpful feedback from specialists already in the fields.

Bill and Gary were at the science fair to judge and award prizes specifically offered by DSES. The prizes were offered to encourage projects related to astronomy and radio.  However any outstanding STEM project related closely enough to the fields were considered.  Bill and Gary interviewed 17 students in 16 projects at the fair, at the middle school and high school levels, with most of the topics in physical sciences or engineering. A scoring criteria was used based on the qualities of the ideas, hypotheses, methods, data, and lessons learned.

DSES awarded one Senior Division prizes and two Junior Division prizes:

For outstanding senior division project we gave a certificate and $100 to Mark Bloomfield. Mark received 6 additional special awards from other organizations, and he placed 3rd in the Fair’s Senior Physical Sciences category.

• Mark Bloomfield [grade 11] [project SC9], Coronado High School/David Bloomfield: ‘‘Charged up: Testing lithium ion battery performance using a Raspberry Pi load cell’’

For the two Junior Division prizes we gave a certificate and $50 each to Hailey Kressen and Benjamin Homan.

• Hailey Kressin [grade8] [project 8E10], The Classical Academy JHS/Candus Muir: ‘‘A sixth sense: Omnidirectional presence detection system’’. Hailey received 6 additional special awards, and she placed 2nd in the Grade 8 Physical Sciences & Engineering category. 

• Benjamin Homan[8] [8E1], Monument Academy/Karl Brown: ‘‘Does pressure affect carbon dioxide absorption by polyethyleneimine?’’ Benjamin received 5 additional special awards, and he placed 4th in the Grade 8 Physical Sciences & Engineering category.

Tony participated as a general Award Judge for the Fair itself. He judged  middle school social and behavioral science projects.

Tony took a few minutes to take some photos.  The first three photos are from when Bill and Gary interviewed Connor Takenaka about his cybersecurity project. The third includes Tony.

Bill is show interviewing Josh Nakka and Katelynn Salmon for their Senior level science project “Engineering a portable refreshable braille device for improved communication.” Gary is interviewing Jenna Salvat for her Senior level science project “A geothermal analysis of metamorphic lithologies surrounding Cripple Creek and Victor Diatreme”.

Projects Bill and Gary interviewed:

  • “Shields Up” by Samantha Cerniglia. She tested the ability of several materials to block cosmic rays. She built a cloud chamber to do the tests.
  • “LED Lights: Hero or Zero” by Michael Wu. He tested energy efficiency savings claims of a set of consumer LED lights, and found those fell short.
  • “Energy Efficiency” by Samantha Schaefer. She tested the effects of placing different colored filters on solar energy panels.
  • “This Will Blow You Away” by Levi Archambault. He tested the efficiency of windmills with different number of blades, with different wind speed conditions.
  • “Prevent Basement Floods” by Austin Cellar.  He designed and tested a low cost device to detect basement water leaks and flooding, and send an alarm.
  • “Cleaning glasses with portable ultrasonics” by Ty Rockey. He researched, designed, and tested a low cost device to clean eye glasses using water cavitation.
  • “Does Pressure Affect Carbon Dioxide Absorption by Polyethyleneimine (PEI)” by Benjamin Homan. He tested the ability of PEI to absorb carbon dioxide at sea level and 7350 foot elevation pressures.  He utilized previous research by others and theory that predicted lower pressure would result in less absorption, due to fewer number of molecules per volume.  The material would be applicable to CO2 scrubbers in submarines and spacecraft. Benjamin won one of our two Junior Division prizes.
  • “Analyzing how various hydroelectric designs can ameliorate the accessibility of tides” by Chandler Wilburn. He tried to design and test an alternate way to generate electrical power from tides, using a large pressure plate instead of flow past a turbine.
  • “Neodymium field slide” by Amir Laarja. He tested different position configurations of magnets in a generator, to test differences in efficiency.
  • “A sixth sense: Omni-directional presence detection system” by Hailey Kressin.  She designed and tested a system to detect the presence of approaching objects within 1.5 meters in 1 second, to aid people who are blind. Hailey won one of our two Junior Division prizes.
  • “Cybersecurity: Defending our Computers” by Connor Takenaka. He tested the effectiveness of different length and complexity passwords to prevent or delay hacking.
  • “Variable scintillation frequency in muon detection” by Xander Duvall.
  • “Using Solar Radiation” by Erick Lopez.  He tested the effectiveness of several designs for homes to retain heat from solar heating.
  • “Engineering a portable low-cost braille device for improved communication” by Josh Nakka and Katelynn Salmon.
  • “A geothermal analysis of metamorphic lithologies surrounding the Cripple Creek and Victor diatreme” by Jenna Salvat.
  • “Charged up: Testing lithium ion battery performance using a Raspberry Pi load cell” by Mark Bloomfield.  He developed a Raspberry Pi constant load cell to test how temperature, drain rate, and charging patterns affected energy recovered in charging.  Mark won our Senior Division Prize.

Bill presented the DSES awards at the science fair awards ceremony on the following Tuesday, February 26th.

The Pikes Peak Regional Science Fair created this nice video about the activities and the students in the science fair:
2019 Pikes Peak Regional Science Fair [https://vimeo.com/319543131].

 

Geographically-spaced Synchronized Signal Detection System by Skip Crilly, New Hampshire Astronomical Society, February 8, 2019.

Skip Crilly gave this presentation to the New Hampshire Astronomical Society, February 8, 2019.

Geographically-spaced Synchronized Signal Detection System (Please click to read pdf presentation.)


Abstract: Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is a confounding problem in radio SETI, as false positives are introduced into receiver signals. Various methods exist to attempt to excise suspected RFI, with a possibility that true positives are rejected, and that un-excised RFI remain as false positives. Uncertain far side-lobe antenna patterns add to the uncertainty. To ameliorate the RFI problem, a system having geographically-spaced simultaneous and synchronized reception has been implemented. A radio telescope at the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia has been combined with a radio telescope of the Deep Space Exploration Society, near Haswell, Colorado to implement a spatial filter having a thrice-Moon-distance transmitter rejection. Approximately 135 hours of simultaneous synchronized pulse observations have been captured from November 2017 through February 2019. This presentation describes the problem, observation system, observed results and a proposed hypothesis to be subjected to attempts at refutation through further experimentation and RFI and ETI transmitter signal model development.

Two wave audio files from the presentation, “Tones” and “Slow Tones”:

Winston W. Scott Jr. “ Scotty”, 1935-2018

By Paul Berge.

Winston W. Scott Jr. “ Scotty”  callsign K0TEP and a DSES lifetime member died Feb 2, 2018.

Scotty was a true gentleman and a scholar.

He was born in Escondido, Ca in 1935. He earned an Electrical Engineering (EE) degree at UC Berkeley and was employed by the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in Boulder in the Electromagnetic Engineering Lab for many years.

He was the sole inventor of an RF amp-meter patented while he worked there. His work included papers published in the IEEE Proceedings.

Scotty married Barbara in 1959 and they raised four daughters. After more than 50 years of marriage Barbara died in 2017.

Scotty was aware of the work done by NBS at the Table Mountain Field Site, which included thunderstorm detection, over the horizon radar, tropospheric-scatter, and he also knew that the 18 meter dishes were abandoned.

DSES was founded by engineers Jan King and Rex Craig, Scotty’s son-in-law (also at NBS/NIST), who were working on AMSAT micro-satellites. They were able to convince the Department of Commerce that letting this amateur group use an 18 meter dish on Table Mountain was a good idea.

Scotty provided inspiration, interest, and funding to help launch and sustain DSES on Table Mountain for many years.

After his work at NBS, Scotty co-founded Laerie Inc. in Berthoud, CO, a successful business specializing in repair calibration and certification of test and measurement equipment.

Scotty was a kind and generous man who is being missed by all who knew him. DSES probably wouldn’t have existed without him.

2019 DSES Membership Drive

Deep Space Exploration Society

4164 Austin Bluffs, #562

Colorado Springs, CO  80918-2928

 

To all Deep Space Exploration Society (DSES) Current and Former Members:

Want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!   Today marks the first day of our 2019 membership drive.  DSES started the year 2018 with 51 members and ended the year with 63 members.  Our organization relies on annual membership dues to fund most all of the DSES projects and monthly operating costs at our Paul Plishner Radio Astronomy and Space Sciences Center near Haswell, CO.   Annual dues for voting members, continues to be $50.00.  For those who wish to be involved as non-voting members the price is $20.00.  Annual elections of board members/officers will be in early February.  You must be current on your dues to vote in this election.  For those recent members who have joined since October 1, 2018, your dues will carry you over into 2019.

You can pay your dues on the DSES web site (DSES.science) by credit card or PayPal to  dsestm@gmail.com  You can also mail dues to the following addresses:  DSES, 4164 Austin Bluffs Pkwy #562, Colorado Springs, CO  80918-2928.  Your canceled check, Paypal receipt or credit receipt will be your acknowledgement of your dues paid.  If you want a separate receipt signifying payment, please note that with your payment and I will mail you a receipt.  Please Include your current mailing address, email address, amateur radio call sign (if any), and phone number.  Also let me know if you DO NOT want this info to be released to the general membership.  I would like to pass this membership information containing email addresses and phone numbers out to all members.

Please feel free to email or call me if you have any questions or if you have a change of any contact information, email, phone or snail mail.

Thank You for your support.

 

Myron F. Babcock

DSES Treasurer

dsestm<at>gmail<dot>com

December 28, 2018

Results of December 2018 Observing Trip

Dr. Richard Russel put together this slide set about the latest results from this month’s observing.  Contents:

  • Galactic Rotation Rate Results
  • Earth’s Position in Solar System
  • Complete HI spectrum Measurements from all observing trips

Dr. Russel is now utilizing Doppler shift measurements, and hence velocity, to also estimate the Earth’s position in the Solar System.

DSES Observation Trip December 2018 [Click to open the pptx slide show file.]

Haswell Site Trip Report for December 14-16, 2018

Personnel present – Bill Miller, Ed Johnson, Steve Plock, Ed Corn, Myron Babcock, Bob Haggard, Glenn Davis, Phil Gage, Hans Gaensbauer, Rich Russel.
Rich Russel and Bob Haggard showed up Friday, joined later that day by Hans Gaensbauer. All three spent the night and Rich did radio astronomy observations. Bob  Haggard finished the new front stairs for the communications trailer. Thanks Bob they look great! Everyone else came the next day. Glenn Davis and Phil Gage upgraded the software on pointing System 1, and Glenn installed the NTP server as well. Bill Miller and Ed Johnson were able to demonstrate go-to functionality on System 2 and the PID algorithm employed operated flawlessly. A milestone has been achieved and Ed plans to attempt sidereal tracking as his next step. Congratulations to all members of both pointing teams!
 The fireproof door for the bunker hallway was cut to size by Steve Plock, Myron Babcock and Hans Gaensbauer. Ed Corn continued with electrical buildout in the bunker.
 Again many thanks to all who participated and worked in the spirit of friendship and cooperation.
submitted by: Steve Plock, President DSES

SETI Geographically-spaced Synchronized Signal Detecction System – Simultaneous SETI Observations Oct 2017 to Nov 2018

 

Geographically-spaced Synchronized Signal Detecction System – Simultaneous SETI Observations Oct 2017 to Nov 2018. Please click to read the PDF presentation.

Prepared for the Deep Space Exploration Society by Skip Crilly. Revised November 8, 2018.

This is an updated revision of Skip Crilly’s slide set, originally presented last summer. Skip points out that the revision includes a summary of the pulses of November 2017 through November 2018.. Two newer NRAO 5690 plots in the presentation show the very stable performance of the telescope, and the narrower Plishner beamwidth.

Bob Haggart’s work building a new porch and stairway for the communications trailer

Bob Haggart N0CTV is working on building a new stairway and porch to the communications trailer at the radio telescope site.  He started the work at home after taking measurements. Today he traveled to the site to continue the work.  With him were his grandson Allen and Allen’s friend Ben. Bob writes:

“We arrived at 11 AM. Worked on the porch and covered the fan with 24″ X 24″ plywood. Ran out of time but did get the porch assembled and painted inside and out. The hand railing is only temporary and will finish next work day on the 17th.”

Bob’s work is replacing a small simple set of metal steps that has given us access to the communications trailer.

The original set of steps to the communications trailer. Bob’s new porch and stairway is replacing this.

The new porch and stairway provide a great improvement.

Bobs has built this new porch and stairway. It is larger, sturdier, and gives much better support. The handrail is temporary. The permanent handrail is planned to be installed on the next group work trip on Nov. 17.

Bob Haggard N0CTV, standing with his work.

Thanks to Bob for all this work, and for improving the access to the communications trailer.