AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 59 Get'em Hooked: Pre-college Astronomy
Poster, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Hanover Hall

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[59.03] Research Experience for Teachers at NRAO-Green Bank: RFI in the 340 MHz Band.

R. T. Sparks (Prarie School, Racine, Wisc.), F. D. Ghigo (NRAO Green Bank, WV)

The Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program provides high school teachers an opportunity to conduct their own research during the summer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.

Radio-frequency interference (RFI) is a major concern when using the Green Bank Telescope (GBT), particularly when observing at low frequencies. During summer, 2003, R. Sparks conducted a project to study RFI in the 340 MHz band. Using the GBT spectrometer, data were taken while slewing in azimuth at an elevation of 6 degrees. Several RFI sources were identified, both from local electronics and distant aircraft. Data processing techniques and the results of the survey will be described.

A curriculum unit based on this research has been created for the high school classroom in which students measure and characterize sources of RFI on the school campus. Students will use their RFI data to select the optimal site for a simple radio telescope.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.