RSP2 for radio astronomy

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RSP2 for radio astronomy

Post by Pulsar » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:25 pm

Hello everybody!

Has anyone thought about using the RSP2 for radio astronomy ?

I am currently setting up a 4.8 m dish for pulsar Observation and besides other receivers I would ike to use the RSP2 as well.

I know that this will be a very, very demanding task, however backed by a study of radio astronomy in the late 70ies and 35 yrs of experience in the space industry (physicist, phd.), it should be possible to realise such a projekt.

Thanks very much in advance for comments and do not hesitate to contact me via my email address: vkgroebi{at}


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Re: RSP2 for radio astronomy

Post by someYguy » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:46 pm

Not sure about the RSP2 but there are several references to using an RSP1 for this: ... o-sky.html ... rplay-rsp/

I'm sure that the RSP2 would work similarly.....

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Re: RSP2 for radio astronomy

Post by 13dka » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:15 pm

Since people are even using RTL-SDR dongles for pulsar detection, sensitivity and receiver noise figure (oddly) doesn't seem to be of much a concern. The RSP2 has lower receiver noise, better sensitivity and you can utilize a bandwidth of 8 (or even 10) MHz which I think is better than a 2.4 MHz baseband recording for processing.

It would be great if you'd keep us posted on that, I'm quite interested in that matter myself but totally clueless, currently reading this quite good writeup: ... enges.html

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Re: RSP2 for radio astronomy

Post by bubblegumpi » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:25 am

So whats the hard part about doing this? Is it building the antenna? Finding a RF quiet location? Making software that works? I imagine you would use that linux based receiver software that are like modulals or building blocks to make the receiver software. Does anyone know what thats called? They featured it on Hak5 but as usual they don't post the second half of the video. I totally stopped watching that channel as literally every project I'm interested in has a two part video where the good stuff is in the second part but they never publish it. They say go to their site since they won't post part 2 on you tube because they are fascists. Anyways the commie bastards featured a software that lets you build exactly what you need in your receiver software. In their demonstration they created a waterfall. Can't remember for the life of me what it was called. Please keep this site up to date that sounds extremely interesting and would love to try this down the road someday, in the mean time anyways to remote a raspberrypi3 into your SDRPlay to control from another PC?

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Re: RSP2 for radio astronomy

Post by n1kgy » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:42 pm

Cool idea - I remember back in the '90s setting up an impromptu "radio telescope" with my (college) radio club. We set up a shortwave receiver to listen at ~20.5MHz (if I recall correctly) when the comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 was going to impact Jupiter. We used a simple antenna - a wire dipole with two reflector-wires underneath it - and got good results. We set up a Sun SPARCstation to digitize the audio from the receiver and do two things - #1 was to log the [averaged] noise level once per minute to a file, and the other was to capture full audio files of any period of time in which there was anything other than "regular noise" in the audio stream. Our algo for "other than regular noise" yielded a lot of local (earthly) noise - both natural and man-made - so we had to delete the irrelevant audio cap's every day or two to prevent our hard-drive from filling up, but we did get data and audio which were unique to the series of impacts as they occurred.

With and SDR and a couple of TB hard-drives you could do an awful lot of wideband data collection - creating synthetic apertures in both the time and frequency domain, which would eliminate 99.99% of non-celestial noise. It would be very interesting to give this a try, and it's now on my list of future projects...

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Re: RSP2 for radio astronomy

Post by radiosky » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:12 am

I have some involvement with the SDRPlay and amateur radio astronomy. Some observers in the Radio Jove project are using the SDRPlay 1 to capture beautiful spectrograms of Jupiter and solar emissions. Jupiter's storm signals top off at 40MHz but there are lots of things to do over the entire frequency range of the SDRPLay. One possibility is interferometry using locked clocks between receivers. A hydrogen line telescope is just an LNA and small dish away. If interested look at my blog at or website at . The spectrograph software is free. It allows you to save just the reduced power over up to 512 channels and about 10 frames/sec. This is a manageable (but large) amount of data as opposed to saving IQ data which is just impractical for long periods.

We don't have support yet for the SDRPlay2.
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Re: RSP2 for radio astronomy

Post by RSP2user » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:35 am

Hi Volker (aka Pulsar).

Your goal should be well achievable with a good quality LNA and the RSP2. Your 4.8m parabolic dish antenna has the strong potential to allow you to achieve your radio astronomy goals and additionally work with even more applications. Some very good software for radio astronomy is called "Radio Eyes" and is available here: . The software has catalogs of many, many sky radio sources for radio astronomy plus it has DDE control capability to control the antenna mount for positioning.

In addition to radio astronomy, with a properly selected antenna feed and LNA, you have a large enough antenna to receive geostationary weather satellite images including HRIT and LRIT images as well as GRB data from GOES satellites. The GRB data includes solar information in addition to Earth information. Additional information on receiving HRIT and LRIT images with the RSP2 along with some very impressive images (showing a hurricane, the 2017 eclipse in the U.S., etc.) can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2674 . For updated information on receiving HRIT/LRIT data from GOES satellites and GRB data from GOES 16 and up satellites, you should get in touch with members of the OpenSatelliteProject and USA-Satcom.

When you get everything working, please feel free to post results.

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