Radio Astronomy Group

Radio Astronomy only differs from traditional optical astronomy in that telescopes operate in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum where they can detect and collect data on natural radio emitting sources.

Although optical astronomers sometimes build their own telescope, it is not typical. However, the reverse can be said for the amateur Radio Astronomer as most, if not all the fun and challenge is in building custom equipment or modifying other equipment to do the job.

By using a number of radio receiving techniques, an astronomer has the opportunity for added mystery by making what is invisible to optical telescopes visible while listening to high energy interactions from distant celestial objects such as Pulsars or closer natural interactions within our earth's magnetic field, solar flares and other interesting noises from radio storms on Jupiter.

Since radio waves penetrate dust, some radio astronomers can study regions of the sky that are not visible to conventional optical telescopes, such as the dust-shrouded regions where stars and planets are born, and the centre of our own Galaxy the Milky Way.

Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of the Radio Astronomy group are:

  • To facilitate and encourage the sharing of skills, ideas, techniques and knowledge resources to assist ASSA members in receiving radio emissions from space based sources.
  • To encourage an active forum for people who use receiver/scanner devices be they commercial ham radios, crystal sets or software defined radio and other types of digital signal processing equipment.
  • To provide support to the beginner and the more experienced in radio reception techniques and in using their own antennas, receivers, signal processing hardware and software.
  • To maintain a group whose activities are suitable for ASSA submissions/purposes and as a source of capable individuals to assist with other ASSA projects/initiatives.