Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy

Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy (DSPIRA) is an NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science Site at the West Virginia University Lane Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The Principal Investigators are Professors Natalia Schmid and Kevin Bandura. The GBO coordinator is Richard Prestage


The West Virginia University (WVU) Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, the WVU Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, WV, have been funded to develop a Research Experience for Teachers program: "Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy (DSPIRA)". This RET program will provide high school teachers with hands on experience using high quality open source software development tools, in both research engineering and educational settings. Through a six week summer program, and academic year follow-up, the teachers will gain experience in the engineering method, via involvement in the research, design, development, and prototyping of digital signal processing (DSP) techniques and applications targeted for the next generation of radio telescopes. Teachers will work in small groups to complete one of two research projects, which they will continue with interested students. In addition, teachers will collaborate with project staff to develop DSP classroom projects that involve an entire classroom of students in DSP activities. DSPIRA will engage three cohorts, each composed of ten high school teachers, two graduate students, and undergraduate students, in a shared learning community, over the three year course of the project. DSPIRA aims to: (1) Prepare teachers to implement DSP projects with their students, exposing them to exciting STEM career opportunities; (2) Inspire high school students to pursue careers in STEM disciplines; (3) Broaden the reach of the DSP activities developed through DSPIRA, and (4) Develop the communication / pedagogical skills of the teachers, project staff, graduate and undergraduate students.