GNU Radio at the Allen Telescope Array
The Allen Telescope Array (ATA) located in Hat Creek, CA, comprises 42 antennas and was built with the primary goal of conducting SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) observations. Like other SETI programs such as Breakthrough Listen (BL), the SETI program at the ATA generates large amounts of data in specialized formats which have traditionally had a high barrier to entry, requiring an understanding of radio astronomy and digital signal processing. These projects are now seeking to engage members of the public – including the GNU Radio community as well as students and educators at a wide range of age levels – to become actively involved in the search alongside professionals in the field. As well as helping to develop novel algorithms and processing techniques, interested individuals will be able to take advantage of the flexible capabilities of the ATA, interfaced with GNU Radio, to capture data from a wide variety of objects of interest and for a wide range of applications. A major benefit of GNU Radio is its visual, user-friendly interface, and this makes it an ideal tool to bring radio astronomy techniques to members of the public and the GNU Radio community. As part of our goal to utilize GNU Radio to make radio astronomy and SETI more accessible, we have installed two USRPs (an N320 and N321) onsite for data collection and have implemented a GNU Radio interface for the ATA which includes a control system and data acquisition capabilities.
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