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Reminder: KARC Monthly Meeting this Thursday, June 3 at 7:30 PM

The next monthly meeting of the Kamloops Amateur Radio Club will be held on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 7:30 PM PST. 

This will be an online meeting so please use this link to join:              

Guests are welcome so please feel free to share the meeting link with your friends. 

We are pleased to announce that Ken Tapping and Benoit Robert from the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) will be our special guest presenters, to talk about Canada's Radio Eye on the Sky.

Ken Tapping was born in the UK. He was interested in radio astronomy starting in his high school years, and this interest was helped along by amazingly tolerant parents and also by being given a complete Cossor Marine Radar MkII that had been removed from a ship.  Ken used this to make a radio telescope.

Ken worked with the UK Science Research Council until 1975, as a radio astronomer, using the new radio telescope at Chilbolton.  He was a member of the British team on a joint project with the National Research Council of Canada, on Very Long Baseline Interferometry.  In 1975, Ken took a job with the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa, with the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics.  In 1985, he became Head of the Solar Radio Monitoring Programme, and in 1990 Ken moved with the programme to Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO), Penticton.

Ken will talk to us about radio astronomy.

Cosmic radio waves were discovered by an engineer. The first radio astronomer was a radio amateur. From those beginnings the progress in astronomical research and technical innovation is nothing short of amazing. We started by waving antennas around to find the direction with the strongest signals, and are now at the point where we can make higher-resolution radio images than we can make with optical telescopes. The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, Canada's national facility for radio astronomy, is at the cutting edge of instrument development and research. CHIME (the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) is a pouring out discoveries; CHORD (Canadian Hydrogen Observatory and Radio transient Detector), a powerful radio imager, is under development, and the Next Generation Solar Flux Monitor marks a new level is monitoring solar activity. In addition, DRAO is a world leader in high-capacity information processing. We are also pretty good at clever acronyms. In this talk we will go quickly through the history of radio astronomy and then review what is currently going on at DRAO and where we are heading.

Benoit Robert, VE7EBR, is an Electronics Technologist, who maintains the radio-telescopes, including the Solar Flux Monitors (SFM), at the DRAO in Penticton.

Benoit is also involved with RFI prevention and RFI hunting activities. When not at work, he creates RF as an Amateur radio operator mostly in 2m, 70cm and microwave (soon). Benoit belongs to the Penticton club (PARC) and helps to maintain the various area repeaters.

Benoit's presentation will include:

  1. Radio-telescope overview (highlighting differences between instruments)
  2. Radio-telescopes data processing
  3. Radio-telescope motion systems
  4. Tricky maintenance issues faced to date
  5. Cool tools that we use



The CHIME at the DRAO is a whole-sky imager which is part of Canada's system for spotting UFO's while they are still well outside the atmosphere. It just so happens that this design of instrument is also good for astronomical research.