Laboratory of space instrumentation (1)

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims at developing the basic know-how in the field of space astrophysics instrumentation, with particular focus on active and passive components used in radio and millimeter-wave astronomy.
During this module the students build and test a total power microwave receiver at 30 GHz. This receiver will be used to measure the microwave radiation emitted by the Sun.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will have acquired the following skills
· He/she will be able to calculate the expected signal observing a celestial source with a total power receiver coupled to a reflector antenna
· He/she will be able to characterize the signal/noise properties of microwave components and of an integrated receiver with Vector Network Analizer measurements
· He/she will be able to measure the noise temperature of a total power receiver
· He/she will be able to simulate the optical response of a feed-horn antenna coupled to a reflector antenna using the SRSR and GRASP software
· He/she will be able to measure an antenna beam pattern by means of far-field measurements
· He/she will be able to measure the brightness temperature of a celestial source with a total power receiver coupled to a reflector antenna
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The laboratory will take place with physical presence with a limited number (1, 2 maximum) of students present at the same time in the laboratory to maintain the necessary social distance. In each group the students will participate physically by turns. The other students will be able to participate and collaborate remotely in real time using the zoom platform.
Course syllabus
The course is entirely experimental and is carried out by the students in small groups.

During the first part of the work the students test in the laboratory the various receiver sub-systems. Then they integrate and test the complete receiver.

In the second part the students study the characteristics of a single-dish reflector antenna and measure the response of the whole system composed by reflector, antenna and receiver.

In the last part the students measure the 30 GHz emission from the Sun.

The course ends with an exam during which each group prepare a written report and present the work done and the obtained results
Prerequisites for admission
Radio astronomy 1
Teaching methods
The students are divided in groups of three-four people. Each group carries out laboratory work to realize and characterize a microwave receiver that is subsequently used to measure the Sun microwave emission
Teaching Resources
Kraus, J.D. Radio Astronomy, 2nd edition. Powell, Ohio, Cygnus-Quasar, 1986.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists in the preparation of a written report and in the oral presentation of the laboratory experience
FIS/05 - ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS - University credits: 6
Laboratories: 48 hours
Lessons: 14 hours