Working on improving EMI/RFI suppression

We’ve been working on improving EMI/RFI suppression of our own equipment, to improve the chances of confirming reception of pulsars, and radio astronomy in general.

We’ve added ferrite chokes to all computer cables, etc, and EVERY cable that goes across our bulkhead to the outside world has at least one ferrite choke on it.

We’re working on shielding our window, to reduce the area of radiation leakage from our own equipment to a minimum:

The existing bulkhead has had foil tape added to it, and one of the windows is completely covered with 6mm hardware cloth. The other windows will get a similar treatment.

The walls and ceiling are already fairly good from an RF leakage perspective–50cm concrete on the walls and roof deck, with both mesh and re-bar reinforcement. Given a randomly-chosen building, one couldnt’ ask for much better for doing sensitive radio receiving experiments. The office ceiling (which is dropped only about 20cm below the roof concrete deck) is made from interlocking steel tiles, locked into a steel rail system. Also an excellent serendipity for us.

Success in observing pulsar B0329+54

We have had success in observing pulsar B0329+54 with our pulsar antenna, after making several adjustments both to the antenna structures, and the receiving software.

Here is an averaged, phase-centered, pulse profile, taken over three observing sessions from November 29 until Dec 1.

While it’s still *possible* that this is an RFI artifact, it becomes quickly decreasingly likely as we make more observations.