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The Allen Telescope Array (ATA) is a 42-element radio telescope array located in Hat Creek, California, operated jointly by SETI Institute and UC Berkeley SETI Research Center. In an effort to increase accessibility to the array among potential users outside the astronomy community, we are working to integrate the array into GNU Radio software. We plan to start out by connecting USRPs to two ATA antennas and developing control, backend, and beamformer software.

General Info

Useful info about the ATA and friends:

GNU Radio / SETI Hackathon

In May 2019, the first step toward collaboration between the GNU Radio community, the ATA, SETI Institute, Breakthrough Listen, and Berkeley SETI communities consisted of a hackathon hosted at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory (home of the ATA). This culminated in, among other things, the development of a GNU Radio module called gr-ata.

Connecting to VNC on ATA gnuradio machines

Currently troubleshooting this, but once things are fixed up this set of steps should work (instructions currently for Windows, will be updated for Linux soon):

Using PUTTY to connect to gnuradio1 machine:

  • Hostname (IP address):
  • SSH -> Enable compression
  • SSH -> Tunnels -> Source port: 590x, Destination: localhost:590x

VNC Viewer:

  • Remote Host: localhost:590x
  • Enter password

First Steps

The first step in implementing GNU Radio with the ATA is ensuring that we can effectively play back previously-recorded SigMF files taken by the ATA in a GNU Radio flowgraph. We can do this using example code from the gr-ata module discussed above. To get the flowgraphs included in the "examples" folder of gr-ata working, here's a recipe of what you'll need (along with some installation tips discovered through trial-and-error). Note that the instructions below are written for Ubuntu users, but could be fairly easily translated to other OSes if necessary:

  • GNU Radio version master version (i.e. what will become released as 3.9) (install instructions here).
  • cmake version >= 3.13 (will have to remove the standard cmake version using $ sudo apt remove --autoremove cmake, then follow the instructions here: to install a more recent version. This is necessary for installing gr-osmosdr)

Here is a list of external GNU Radio modules that you should install following the instructions on the linked GitHub pages:

  • gr-ata (of course!)
  • gr-osmosdr
  • gr-correctiq
  • More to come once I've finished troubleshooting them so I can include installation survival tips... :)