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Radio Astronomy on VLF


Solar Monitoring without a Telescope

Solar Observation with the UKRAA VLF Receiver


There is an indirect way to observe changes in the Sun and the Earth’s Ionosphere, and I am embarking on a journey to explore it. Using a Very Low Frequency (VLF, 15-35kHz) loop aerial and a VLF receiver from the UK Radio Astronomy Association, I have connected the receiver to a Data Acquisition Unit, a LabJack U3-HV Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC). With Radio Sky Pipe software (free and paid-for versions) the voltage from the receiver becomes a virtual strip recorder line, measuring changes in the Ionosphere over time.

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The UKRAA VLF receiver comes pre-tuned to the Ramsloh (German) Navy transmitter on 23.4kHz, but you can easily re-tune the unit. Over time, some fascinating measurements are emerging, and I am planning to report back on this in the November issue of RadioUser. Meanwhile, if anyone else is into this, I’d appreciate some hints and tips since I am quite a novice in this area. However, every day is a school day. Any VLF Facebook Groups out there?