During our last radio group meeting we discussed future radio astronomy projects for the group. One of these was Radio JOVE. Radio JOVE is a NASA sponsored radio astronomy project that allows students and amateur scientists to observe and analyse natural radio emissions of Jupiter, the Sun, and our galaxy.
The necessary components for the project, receiver, antenna, software and instructions can be purchased as a kit.
Here is a link to the Radio JOVE website: Radio JOVE.
During our visit to the radio group at Herstmonceux we were shown real-time reception of radio emissions from the Sun at the Radio JOVE frequency of 20.1MHz. Although the group were using a commercial receiver instead of the Radio JOVE kit receiver to tune into the signal from the Radio JOVE dipole antenna, they were able to confirm that the kit receiver was easy to construct and had adequate performance. They also commented that during day-light hours it was not possible to receive emissions from Jupiter, (if Jupiter was “up”), as the emissions from the Sun swamp those from the interaction between Jupiter and Io.
If we as a group were to proceed with the purchase and construction of a Radio JOVE receiver as well as allowing us to study the radio emissions from Jupiter at night, during the day it would enable us to monitor solar activity and complement our VLF SID Receiver. Any thoughts?
I like that idea. I would agree to going ahead.
Hi Clive, this does sound like a very interesting idea. It would certainly complement the VLF data.
How big is the kit antenna, out of interest?
The length of the Radio JOVE dipole antenna is 7.09m (23.3ft). Although the receiver can be operated with a single dipole the addition of a second antenna of the same size increases the antenna’s sensitivity and allows its “beam” to be steered to compensate for changes in Jupiter’s elevation.
Regarding a suitable site for the antenna the Radio JOVE antenna manual states:
“The area required for a single Jove dipole is approximately 15 x 45 ft. The Jove dual
dipole array requires a reasonably flat area 30 ft N-S by 45 ft. E-W. The soil should be
suitable for putting stakes into the ground. Since the antenna is sensitive to electrical
noise it is best not to set it up near power lines or close to buildings.”
Any suggestions for a site?