mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii


ASTR 735: Radio Astronomy
Fall 2021 Monday 1-3pm
Jonathan Williams, C-209


TLDR: github repo with everything you need to build a horn telescope!



This is a one-credit seminar series for graduate students and senior undergraduate majors to learn about the science and methodology of astronomical observations in the radio band, from about 0.3mm to 30m in wavelength. We will meet once a week for two hours in a flexible format that will mix formal lectures on background and theory with book and literature discussions and a large practical component that introduces software defined radio receivers and the construction and operation of a basic telescope to detect the 21cm HI line.


The course textbook is Essential Radio Astronomy by Jim Condon and Scott Ransom at NRAO. This is available for purchase in print form but is free online. I will assign reading from this book for discussion in class and augment with custom lectures and slides illustrating concepts and applications to current IfA research (by me and other faculty and students).


Your grade for this course will be determined through a small number of problem sets and your work on the practical component of the course, namely the hardware and software development of the radio telescope, some of which will be done outside of class (i.e., your homework). There is no final exam though you will be required to deliver a presentation of your work and findings at the end of the semester.


Students who are more interested in building and operating the radio telescope for, e.g., outreach purposes, than the lectures/book/literature are welcome to audit the class (and vice versa).