My high school teacher and I recently built a 10 ft. mesh dish transit radio telescope. In order to compete this year at Nationals for our science fair, we came up with the idea of using a bluetooth transmitter and receiver to transmit the radiowave's received from the telescope to the lab inside where my computer is located. I will be using MATLAB to take in the voltage input, analyze the radio frequencies, and create a 3D plot/image of the object were receiving from. The difference in our scope vs's other radio telescopes is its ability to rotate 360 degrees repeatedly to image the sky, taking in radio waves at different angles of ascension.

Where I'm stuck is the 3D plotting of the images. What links/articles could you think of to assist with the mathematical transformation of these radio signals into rough images. Considering the meridian circle as our basis of rotation, will the repeated persay imaging of the sky allow for an increased arcsecond of resolution due to the fact the arrays of data from each rotation will often overlap? If needed, I can draw and attach a rough image of what the radio telescope looks like. But the dish just rotates repeatedly about the horizontal axis, rather than a back and forth transit telescope, say 30 to 150 degrees and back from 150 to 30 degrees again.

What facts about astronomy, laws/theories, or anything else do you think would assist me in the creation of these images. I want to write the program from scratch, but if there is any good libraries out there to possibly write it in another language, that'd be nice to know.

Sorry if my question is too broad and kinda ambiguous. If needed I can narrow it down to a single question, but would rather not be closed due to its ambiguity.

Thanks again, and I truly appreciate any assistance, whether it's merely a URL or an in depth description, anything helps!

  • $\begingroup$ I think this is a valid Astronomy question - it's about interpreting astronomical observations after all. But my advice would also be to consider transferring this question to bigger/busier forum (eg Stackoverflow) because you might get more practical and immediate help on the issue of imaging software etc. $\endgroup$ – adrianmcmenamin Aug 14 '16 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ I think a picture would help. FWIW, a 10ft dish would have an angular resolution of about 5 degrees at the 21cm hydrogen wavelength. $\endgroup$ – James K Aug 15 '16 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ I guess it's too late to offer a helpful answer here, but I feel that this remark may help others later on: Avoid the Bluetooth link. You are building a very sensitive HF device here, and even though you want to observe on a different frequency than Bluetooth uses, it is very important to keep the area around the telescope free from any unshielded electronics and any antenna systems. Any electronics you don't control may produce interference on basically any frequency, unintentionally, and anything leaking out will severely impact the sensitivity of your radio telescope. $\endgroup$ – jstarek Dec 18 '17 at 13:39

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