Lab and Benchtop Spectrum Analysis Use Case: Researching the dawn of our galaxy
Imagining the universe during the first hundreds of millions of years remains one of the most prominent challenges in modern cosmology, but researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara press forward undaunted, relying on Signal Hound spectrum analyzers for a portion of their measurement processes.
Using standardized measurements associated with neutral hydrogen, UCSB is using Signal Hound BB60A and BB60C spectrum analyzers to identify possible “phases” of early universe creation, particularly related to events such as the creation of stars, galaxies, and black holes. The technical ability of the Signal Hound devices is key to the project.
“The ability to make a terrestrial measurement of the global cosmic 21cm line has previously been limited by the available instruments” says Rory Barton-Grimley, researcher at UCSB. He continues by stating that “Utilizing the Signal Hound BB60A for our initial system tests, we have [been] able to generate real-time measurements across many different frequency bands. The sample rate and system bandwidth of the BB60A and C fit our experiment ideally, allowing us to generate a large amount of data over a large bandwidth.”
Barton-Grimley is also appreciative of the software and the open nature of the GUI. He states that “The native Signal Hound software also proves to be a good tool for on the fly system calibration and verification, though for science measurements we have developed our own in house Python API wrapper with specific functionality needed for our particular experiment.”
The capabilities of the spectrum analyzers allow the institution to reliably work with collected scientific data, helping further their research endeavors. Barton-Grimley states:
“The Signal Hound BB60C is the center point of our instrument, driven by its availabilities and internal abilities. It is proving to be a crucial part [of] our pursuit in measuring the global cosmic 21cm line.”