RJOVER: An alternative approach using SDR technology to reduce costs for the NASA Radio JOVE citizen science effort

TitleRJOVER: An alternative approach using SDR technology to reduce costs for the NASA Radio JOVE citizen science effort
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2021
AuthorsKovach, T, Dannhoff, S, May, J
Conference NameHamSCI Workshop 2021
Date Published03/2021
Conference LocationScranton, PA (Virtual)

The NASA-run citizen science project, Radio JOVE, utilizes widespread distribution of single and dual-dipole antenna receiving stations to study the magnetic interactions between Jupiter and its moon, Io. The citizen science effort has been well established and maintained since 1998, and the Radio JOVE project team has streamlined kit distribution and assembly documentation for amateur data collectors and hobbyists. The antennas, receiver, software, and related components are available for purchase in kits that range in price from depending on the level of “pre-assembly”. For instance, we estimate that the prices of un-assembled and fully assembled kit receivers are approximately $95 and $225, respectively. Establishing a Radio JOVE receiving station is no small task, and these prices are reasonable and appropriate. To further data collection accessibility and broaden the participating audience, however, we seek to further reduce these costs-- specifically that of the receiver. Our primary goal is to code, integrate, and test a software-defined radio (SDR) receiver for Radio JOVE data collection to verify whether the technology could be a less expensive alternative to the original distributed kit receiver. By coordinating with the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Research Farm, as well as with guidance from faculty in the CWRU Electrical, Computer, and Science Engineering (ECSE) department and the Radio JOVE Project Team, we hope to establish a Radio JOVE receiving station at CWRU whereupon we can test our alternative SDR receiver for Jovian signal collection. If our alternative receiver works on a level comparable to the existing kit receiver, we can offer a cheaper, more modern and digital age approach that could appeal to a wider audience including those working with a tighter budget and those who are interested in software-defined radio, all of whom simply want to help the scientific effort. 

Refereed DesignationNon-Refereed