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IEEE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS STEPPING FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION

Neha Dawar, University of Calgary

IEEE Young Professionals Southern Alberta Section (SAS) with their STAR (Students, Teachers and
Researchers) initiative in collaboration with Astronomy Teacher Training Institute (ATTI) took a step
forward to bring awareness of Radio and Microwave education across Alberta. ATTI is a non-profit
organization of Alberta founded by Mr. Tushar Sharma (Chairperson IEEE Young Professionals SAS) with
an aim of popularizing science among high school students. In this initiative of IEEE Young Professional
SAS, the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomy awarded a grant to University of Calgary students in the
form of a Radio Jove kit. Upon receiving this kit, two of the university students from Electrical and
Computer Engineering department, Mr. Dhruv Rijo (2nd year undergraduate) and Ms. Sara Awara
(3rdyear undergraduate), participated in the assembly development of the receiver and in simulating the
antenna for performance optimization under the guidance of Mr. Sharma and Mr. Anis Arfi, a second
year graduate student at the iRadio laboratories, University of Calgary, Canada. IEEE Young Professionals
SAS, with its Graduate Mentorship program at the University of Calgary, initiated this project in month
of August 2014.

As a team interested in radio astronomy, they looked into optimizing the Radio Jove project initiated by
NASA. This project is not only aimed at obtaining emission patterns, but also at improving the kit to
obtain precise recordings. Mr. Sharma and Mr. Arfi started off by learning and educating students with
the soldering technique. After soldering the receiver, next was the testing stage during which they
looked into the areas of potential improvement. They found that the receiver antenna could surely be

modified to a reduced size to give a better performance. Using the Numerical Electromagnetics Code
(NEC2) software, the team of four simulated the electromagnetic response of different types of
antennas like dipole, loop, helix etc. for their project specifications. All the antennas were optimized for
20.1 MHz frequency, which is the frequency of radio emissions from Jupiter. Promising results were
obtained for the loop design (high gain, high selectivity, low V.S.W.R).
Currently, they are working on a comparative study for the loop design and observing the effects of
varying different parameters of the design, which they plan to publish in the later bulletins. Some of
these parameters include height of the loop above the ground, radii of the coupling loop and outer
loop, capacitance used for tuning, types of material used, etc. Believing that every possible change will
have an effect on the antenna performance, their aim is to document as many of these effects as
possible and relate them to the antenna performance to obtain an optimized design.

Besides this project, IEEE Young Professionals organized a star gazing session, where a diverse group of
university students were taken to All Star Telescopes in Disbury, a place in the outskirts of Calgary.
During the trip, numerous topics in radio astronomy, starting from the elementary features of the
universe to the advanced topics involving mathematical logics were discussed. Being the day of meteor
shower, a few meteors were observed during the night observation. Students from different nations like
Canada, India, Mexico, China Bangladesh and Tunisia participated in the star gazing session. This
initiative by IEEE YP was a huge success and was highly appreciated by the students. IEEE Young
Professionals aim to build a continuing education center at Siksika, Alberta. As a part of this project,
hands-on on-site training related to science and astronomy would be provided. Various sessions on

optical telescope building, radio telescope building and antenna design are planned. Instead of
theoretical means, a story-telling medium of imparting knowledge would be adopted. This project would
involve the people from the nearby areas to build a radio observatory by the people and for the people.
The Young Professionals aim this project with the maximum society involvement such that the upcoming
generations can be made aware of the wonders of science.
We would like to thank SARA, Mr. Bruce Rout, Dr. James Thieman, Dr Deborah Scherrer, Professor
Fadhel Gahnnouchi and Dr. Ramzi Darraji for their help and guidance throughout this motivational
journey!!