Solar Radio Spectrometer 

Feb 2018


“The CALLISTO spectrometer is a programmable heterodyne receiver built in the framework of IHY2007 and ISWI by former Radio and Plasma Physics Group (PI Christian Monstein) at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The main applications are observation of solar radio bursts and rfi-monitoring for astronomical science, education and outreach. The instrument natively operates between 45 and 870 MHz using a modern, commercially available broadband cable-TV tuner CD1316 having a frequency resolution of 62.5 KHz. The data obtained from CALLISTO are FIT-files with up to 400 frequencies per sweep.”

The above map shows the locations of the receivers within the e-Callisto network. 

To join the network, we need to purchase a receiver, manufacture a suitable antenna and front end Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA's), find a suitable location to install everything and get their software running on suitable computer that is connected to the internet.

 A receiver was made in 2014 along with an antenna for evaluation purposes and more to see if I could make one.

Prototype receiver


Prototype short log periodic antenna on a 'sun tracking mount' for testing.

As the receiver I built is not quite the same as a 'proper' one , a proper calibrated receiver has been purchased (4th February 2018) from the Principal Investigator (PI) Christian Monstein in Germany and is expect to arrive in about 1 month.


Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA's), T Bias and lightning protection (far RHS) in a weather proof box, this goes between the antenna and the receiver (late Jan 2018)


Antenna manufacture

A more detailed account of the manufacture of this antenna is in the Technical Special Activity Kollective area

Some pictures of the full sized log periodic antenna currently in manufacture by Peter (early Feb 2018)



Detail of feed end, we'll eventually cover the exposed ends with a box full of silicon gunk.

The partially completed antenna (late Feb 2018).

It's very long Peter, how are we going to move it?

Funny looking bull on that trailer mate! (the log periodic antenna is on the top of the trailer with David and Peter)

A full receiver 'scan' at our proposed site using the short log periodic antenna in a vertical orientation (March 2018).

The 'stuff' around 95MHz is the FM band, 560MHz -620MHz and 750MHz -790MHz are TV station transmissions. The 'step' at 450MHz is the Receiver changing bands.

We'll continue to update this project as it progresses.