Green Bank, WV


January 8, 2002

TO: J. Acree, C. Beaudet, R. Cutshall, R. Fisher, J. Ford, F. Ghigo, R. Lacasse,  R. McCullough, C. Niday, W. Sizemore
FROM: R. Lacasse
SUBJ.: Minutes of Interference Protection Group 1-07-02 Meeting

In attendance: Acree, Beaudet, Cutshall, Fisher, Ford,  Lacasse, McCullough, Niday, Sizemore

This was a special meeting with several purposes.  First, new members of the group were introduced.  Second, resources available to the group were summarized.  Finally, projects, both planned and current, were summarized.

Four new members joined the group.  Jeff Acree is a new hire.  He will chair the group, and direct the operation of all RFI related matters.    Carla Beaudet, another new hire, will initially will be fixing RFI problems.  Wes Sizemore, an NRAO employee for many years who has been in charge of processing quiet zone applications and has generally concerned himself with off-site interference, was welcomed to the group due to the expansion of the scope of the group.  Finally Ryan Cutshall is a student who will be working with Rick Fisher on RFI suppression techniques.

A list of resources available to the group was compiled, mostly from memory.  Acree will follow up on this and produce a better list.  The following items were listed:

RFI Monitor Stations
IPG "deer stand"
Covers 200 - 1000 MHz with a log periodic antenna  and 1.15 to 1.8 GHz using a horn antenna.
Approximately 60 db of amplification follows the antennas.
Signals are routed to the Jansky Lab from the station via fiber modems which cover DC to 2.5 GHz.
Covers the band from 0-1300 MHz with both an omni and directional antenna.
The directional antenna is mounted on an AZ/EL rotor and is comupter
controllable including the capability of tracking satellites.
The system has approximately 50 dB gain. The antennas are mounted on a 50' tower and
are connected to an ICOM R-9000 receiver and HP-8563A spectrum analyzer.
The HP-8563A is also computer controllable.
Data Acquisition System
Capable of 500 Ms/s.  To be used to characterize interference.
FPGA and A/D on board.
Spectral Processor
FFT-based spectrum analysis system.  It can give the RFI Monitor Station the same sensitivity to interference as the GBT since the GBT is looking at the interference only in its sidelobes while the monitor station can peak up on it.
Shared with the GBT.
Anechoic Chamber
Fully shielded anechoic chamber.  Dimensions approximately 35 x 15 x 15 ft.
Shared with indoor antenna range.
Spectrum Analyzers
Anritsu  - good to 8.5 GHz,
HP 8563A - good to 26 GHz, portable,
HP8563E  - good to 26 GHz, portable, excellent device,
Tek 472
Signal generators
Frequency Synthesizer DC to 26 GHz,
HP 8672A 2 to 18 GHz Signal Generators (qty2)
Scalar Network Analyzer
HP 8757A.  Not top-of-the line, but useful for measure amplifier responses, etc.
Scientific Atlanta, 100# capacity
Radios for interference monitoring
ICOM R10 (portable, 100 KHz to 1.3 GHz),
ICOM R9000 (2GHz),
ICOM R7000 (portable, 1.8 GHz),
AOR handheld (1.3 GHz),
AOR 3000 (desktop scanner, 1.3 GHz)
The following projects, some underway and some planned, were listed:
NRQZ administration
processing of applications
verification of propagation models
verification of compliance
identification of uncoordinated transmitters
monitoring of local environment
RFI surveys
GBT IF Monitor (survey of GBT IF bands)
Monitor Station survey (archive of monitor station, vs time, vs direction)
One should assume that these surveys will be publically available.
RFI complaint logging
So far we have gotten little help from astronomers and operators.  We hope to train operators to identify interference and possibly triangulate on it using the monitor stations.  When complaints of RFI are made, we plan to capture observers' enviroments using GBT logging facilities to get details of when and where interference was seen.
GBT Monitor Station
Presently only in planning stage.
Should be very close in design to existing station.
Very useful for compliance verification since it will measure fields very near the GBT focus.
Fisher to provide Acree with a block diagram.
RFI Research
Fisher to take responsibility for this project.
Goal is to increase immunity to RFI.
Plan to use the Data Acquisition System to characterize RFI
Equipment Testing and Fixing
This has been the main focus of the IPG group thusfar.
The goal is generally to bring NRAO equipment into compliance with ITU-R limits .
Items that are being worked on, or soon will be, include the laser ranging system, the GBT HVAC system, the lightning detector, the data acquisition module, the blue GBT warning lights, and the GBT servo system
 Next Meeting:  1-22-02