DRAO Seminar Series Fall 2014

Time & Date Speaker Title
Mon-Tue Sep 22-23 A Workshop Celebrating the Career of John A. Galt
15:00 Wed Oct 08 Marcus Leech
Science Radio Laboratories, Inc.
Software-Defined Radio and Radio Astronomy: An Overview
11:00 Wed Oct 22 Amy Mioduszewski
NRAO Socorro
From Distances to Dynamics: Astrometry with the VLBA
Thu Oct 23  NRC-Herzberg Jamboree
15:00 Mon Nov 24 Doug Johnstone
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory
Star Formation and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT)

Software-Defined Radio and Radio Astronomy: An Overview

Marcus Leech (Science Radio Laboratories, Inc.)

We explore over a decade of practical experience in the application of software-defined-radio (SDR) to the problems of small-scale scientific observations in the disciplines of radio astronomy, meteor observations, and riometry. We introduce Gnu Radio as a flexible software framework for the construction of relevant DSP flows, and show the development of small applications in the field of interest. We also explore the relevant hardware from various vendors, and discuss the future of SDR in larger-scale observations.

From Distances to Dynamics: Astrometry with the VLBA

Amy Mioduszewski (NRAO Socorro)

In the last decade it was finally realized that the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) is an excellent astrometry machine. Since then there have been many projects to measure the distances and motions of both galactic and extragalactic objects with high precision. There are a large number of on-going key projects on the VLBA using this technique. These aim to measure everything from galactic structure to the Hubble constant. I will more specifically also discuss our work on the nearby star forming regions: Taurus, Ophiuchus, Orion, Serpens, Cepheus and Perseus; including precise distances and proper motions and what that tells us about the dynamics of the star forming regions and individual young stars. I will also discuss the recent resolution of the Pleiades distance controversy using VLBI parallaxes.

Star Formation and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT)

Doug Johnstone (DAO) [former Associate Director JCMT]

I will chronicle the ‘Greatest Hits’ of Star Formation research conducted at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) over its 27 year operations. The JCMT has been instrumental in uncovering the earliest stages of protostar formation, the mass distribution of dense cores in molecular clouds, and the properties of (planet-forming) circumstellar disks, among other successes. I will then discuss the current suite of instruments at the JCMT and how they are being utilized to survey large regions within nearby star-forming molecular clouds. I will conclude by considering the complementarity of the JCMT in the era of ALMA and comment on the bright future for the telescope.