Morehead State University

Poster Title

The Morehead Space Tracking Antenna and Radiotelescope: Operator Program Version 1.0 and Data Imaging Using Data Reduction Automation Program (DRAP) Version 1.0

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

M-STAR is a 21-meter diameter research instrument built for undergraduates, graduates, and faculty to make astrophysical observations and serve as a satellite tracking ground station. M-STAR systems will be controlled by the ACU built by VertexRSI, the company contracted to construct the M-STAR. M-STAR Operator Program will control the ACU in order to position the antenna for observational astrophysics. Data is collected via a DAQ card which is controlled by the Operator Program being developed in Labview, a graphical programming language produced by National Instruments. This project is an application of Computer Science in the realm of Radio Astrophysics designed to develop software to operate equipment needed for data collection. The massive amounts of data taken with the MRT (13.25 m radio telescope) can take hours sometimes days to reduce, image, and analyze; with the M-STAR this is expected to become an even more time consuming task. DRAP is an application being engineered to dramatically decrease the time required to reduce, format, image, and analyze data. DRAP v1.0 will also be capable of attaching a FITS header to the data for imaging and analysis using commercial software such as AIPS that runs in the UNIX environment. FITS was developed to provide a single standard interchange format for transporting digital images among cooperating institutions. NRAO created AIPS for the manipulation of radio inter-ferometric data and astronomical images. One of the main aspects of this project aims to enable the SSC to take advantage of the AIPS software package via FITS.

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The Morehead Space Tracking Antenna and Radiotelescope: Operator Program Version 1.0 and Data Imaging Using Data Reduction Automation Program (DRAP) Version 1.0

M-STAR is a 21-meter diameter research instrument built for undergraduates, graduates, and faculty to make astrophysical observations and serve as a satellite tracking ground station. M-STAR systems will be controlled by the ACU built by VertexRSI, the company contracted to construct the M-STAR. M-STAR Operator Program will control the ACU in order to position the antenna for observational astrophysics. Data is collected via a DAQ card which is controlled by the Operator Program being developed in Labview, a graphical programming language produced by National Instruments. This project is an application of Computer Science in the realm of Radio Astrophysics designed to develop software to operate equipment needed for data collection. The massive amounts of data taken with the MRT (13.25 m radio telescope) can take hours sometimes days to reduce, image, and analyze; with the M-STAR this is expected to become an even more time consuming task. DRAP is an application being engineered to dramatically decrease the time required to reduce, format, image, and analyze data. DRAP v1.0 will also be capable of attaching a FITS header to the data for imaging and analysis using commercial software such as AIPS that runs in the UNIX environment. FITS was developed to provide a single standard interchange format for transporting digital images among cooperating institutions. NRAO created AIPS for the manipulation of radio inter-ferometric data and astronomical images. One of the main aspects of this project aims to enable the SSC to take advantage of the AIPS software package via FITS.