By Flavio Falcinelli
Admiring the complex and sophisticated technology and the structural impressiveness of professional radio telescopes, not to mention the cost, of course "astronomical", it is legitimate to ask whether it makes sense to talk about amateur radio astronomy and, if so, what are its real possibilities of experimentation.
This discipline is not well known at amateur level: we believe that, from our part, it is important to present and describe concrete projects, economic and easy to implement, with "safe" and repeatable performance. We have to make anyone understand, very honestly, the limits reachable by amateur activities, emphasizing, however, the many exciting possibilities of the open-to-all experimentation. In this light, it becomes for us a mission to support anyone who wishes to begin by following our suggestions.
On your part, a bit of willpower is needed to invest time and patience for a gradual approach to a discipline that seems less immediate and "spectacular" than other observational techniques of the sky as, for example, optical astronomy.
The human being is not sensitive to radio waves: in this field, the "visualization" of the cosmic stage and the "extraction" of the information that results is not immediate. You need instruments (radio telescopes) that can detect radio signals and display them. These difficulties help to make this discipline much less accessible and "darker" than optical astronomy.
Then there is the problem of instrumentation.
Do you have to be electronic experts to realize everything in the house?
Not necessarily. Who has practical knowledge is, of course, advantaged, but on the web you can find excellent projects on construction of small radio telescopes. On the other hand, we propose modules, kits and comprehensive tools so that anyone can become an amateur radio astronomer. Follow us!