Radio Observatory

 

The University of Florida's Radio Observatory (UFRO), is dedicated to the study of decametric radio emission from the planet Jupiter. It is located in Dixie County 50 miles west of Gainesville, near Old Town, Florida in a "radio quiet" area around 2.5 miles from the nearest highway. 


 

 

Click on Map Below To See Images


 
 
Log-spiral Array: The main antennas used at UFRO for monitoring the Jovian decametric mission are two arrays of conical log spiral elements. Each array has eight elements; one array is right-hand and the other left-hand circularly polarized. The conical log spiral element is also known as TP for its resemblance to the Native American Tee Pee. Each TP element is about 8 meters tall and has a diameter of about 5 meters at the base. The TP is a broad band element and has been designed to work over a wide range of frequencies. For monitoring the Jovian Decametric Emission the UFRO TP arrays are used in the frequency range from 18 to 40 MHz. The arrays have a fixed beam array in the E-W direction but it can be phase-steered in the N-S direction. The E-W half-power beam width is about 90 degrees and allows the observation of Jupiter for a total of about 6 hours, from 3 hours before transit to 3 hours after transit.

Dipole Array: The 640-dipole array was completed in 1972. The array is a 350-KHz broadband antenna with a center frequency of 26.3 MHz

Yagi Antennas: 5-element Yagis are used for the 18 and 22.2 MHz channels while the 4-element Yagi is used for data collection for the 20MHz channel. A dipole radiator, a reflector element, and one or more director elements make up a Yagi antenna. The reflector and director elements are essential for focussing the radiation and increasing the gain of the antenna.
 
 

Name Frequency
(MHz)
Number of
Elements
Wavelength
(m)
18Y 18.0 5 16.67
20Y 20.0 4 15.00
22Y 22.2 5 13.51

Antenna parameters for the Yagis (A New Determination of Jupiter's Radio Rotation Period, 1996, Dr. Charles Higgins)