RFI monitoring for the MeerKAT Radio Telescope

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Blyth, Sarah-Louise en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Kuttel, Michelle Mary en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Schroeder, Anja en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Schollar, Christopher en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-02-29T13:23:59Z
dc.date.available 2016-02-29T13:23:59Z
dc.date.issued 2015 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Schollar, C. 2015. RFI monitoring for the MeerKAT Radio Telescope. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17396
dc.description.abstract South Africa is currently building MeerKAT, a 64 dish radio telescope array, as a pre-cursor for the proposed Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Both telescopes will be located at a remote site in the Karoo with a low level of Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). It is important to maintain a low level of RFI to ensure that MeerKAT has an unobstructed view of the universe across its bandwidth. The only way to effectively manage the environment is with a record of RFI around the telescope. The RFI management team on the MeerKAT site has multiple tools for monitoring RFI. There is a 7 dish radio telescope array called KAT7 which is used for bi-weekly RFI scans on the horizon. The team has two RFI trailers which provide a mobile spectrum and transient measurement system. They also have commercial handheld spectrum analysers. Most of these tools are only used sporadically during RFI measurement campaigns. None of the tools provided a continuous record of the environment and none of them perform automatic RFI detection. Here we design and implement an automatic, continuous RFI monitoring solution for MeerKAT. The monitor consists of an auxiliary antenna on site which continuously captures and stores radio spectra. The statistics of the spectra describe the radio frequency environment and identify potential RFI sources. All of the stored RFI data is accessible over the web. Users can view the data using interactive visualisations or download the raw data. The monitor thus provides a continuous record of the RF environment, automatically detects RFI and makes this information easily accessible. This RFI monitor functioned successfully for over a year with minimal human intervention. The monitor assisted RFI management on site during RFI campaigns. The data has proved to be accurate, the RFI detection algorithm shown to be effective and the web visualisations have been tested by MeerKAT engineers and astronomers and proven to be useful. The monitor represents a clear improvement over previous monitoring solutions used by MeerKAT and is an effective site management tool. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Computer Science en_ZA
dc.title RFI monitoring for the MeerKAT Radio Telescope en_ZA
dc.type Master Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Computer Science en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationname MSc en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Schollar, C. (2015). <i>RFI monitoring for the MeerKAT Radio Telescope</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Computer Science. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17396 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Schollar, Christopher. <i>"RFI monitoring for the MeerKAT Radio Telescope."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Computer Science, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17396 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Schollar C. RFI monitoring for the MeerKAT Radio Telescope. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Computer Science, 2015 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17396 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Schollar, Christopher AB - South Africa is currently building MeerKAT, a 64 dish radio telescope array, as a pre-cursor for the proposed Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Both telescopes will be located at a remote site in the Karoo with a low level of Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). It is important to maintain a low level of RFI to ensure that MeerKAT has an unobstructed view of the universe across its bandwidth. The only way to effectively manage the environment is with a record of RFI around the telescope. The RFI management team on the MeerKAT site has multiple tools for monitoring RFI. There is a 7 dish radio telescope array called KAT7 which is used for bi-weekly RFI scans on the horizon. The team has two RFI trailers which provide a mobile spectrum and transient measurement system. They also have commercial handheld spectrum analysers. Most of these tools are only used sporadically during RFI measurement campaigns. None of the tools provided a continuous record of the environment and none of them perform automatic RFI detection. Here we design and implement an automatic, continuous RFI monitoring solution for MeerKAT. The monitor consists of an auxiliary antenna on site which continuously captures and stores radio spectra. The statistics of the spectra describe the radio frequency environment and identify potential RFI sources. All of the stored RFI data is accessible over the web. Users can view the data using interactive visualisations or download the raw data. The monitor thus provides a continuous record of the RF environment, automatically detects RFI and makes this information easily accessible. This RFI monitor functioned successfully for over a year with minimal human intervention. The monitor assisted RFI management on site during RFI campaigns. The data has proved to be accurate, the RFI detection algorithm shown to be effective and the web visualisations have been tested by MeerKAT engineers and astronomers and proven to be useful. The monitor represents a clear improvement over previous monitoring solutions used by MeerKAT and is an effective site management tool. DA - 2015 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2015 T1 - RFI monitoring for the MeerKAT Radio Telescope TI - RFI monitoring for the MeerKAT Radio Telescope UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/17396 ER - en_ZA


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