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Students Exploring Australia's Radio-Frequency Environment
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Get Involved

The SEARFE equipment and activities are currently being trialled and developed in a small number of schools and are being evaluated and refined before expanding the project to include more schools. We are also currently limited in the level of support we can offer schools who want to be involved in the project, but are exploring ways to enable more schools to participate in SEARFE. We have found the project works most successfully when we are able to organise a 'launch' of the project at participating schools. This typically involves having a scientist or engineer come to the school for a day to give a presentation on the project and show the teachers and students how to use the equipment. We normally also try to organise local media coverage of such events. Some schools involved in the project have organised sponsorship to cover the costs of such events.

To participate in SEARFE, a school needs to be provided with or acquire a SEARFE kit (computer, software, receiver, antenna, cabling, etc). The receiver, cables and antenna cost about AU$1200 (using the new WinRadio 1550e receiver or about AU$2600 using the AOR AR3000A receiver). IBM Australia have donated nine laptop computers to the SEARFE project; five ThinkPad 600E model laptops (400 MHz Pentium II, 64MB RAM, 10GB HD, CD, manufactured Aug-99), to which we have added 128MB RAM and an external USB CDRW drive, and four ThinkPad R40 model laptops (1.5 GHz Pentium M, 256 MB RAM, 60GB HD, DVD/CDRW, manufactured Sep-03). The five ThinkPad 600E laptops were donated at the beginning of the project and we have used these with the schools currently trialling and developing the project. We have just received the four ThinkPad R40 laptops and are using them to expand the project. One school involved in the project has provided its own laptop computer and two schools in the project have organised sponsorship of their receiving equipment. We have developed software to control the receivers and are providing this free of charge to anyone wishing to participate in the project. The software can be downloaded from the software page of the SEARFE project website. CSIRO's Australia Telescope National Facility hosts the SEARFE website, which includes the SEARFE Chat email archive and SEARFE Data Archive, where students discuss and post their results. We invite you to view these discussions, download the results and view the results with the SEARFE software, should you be interested in finding out more about the project.

If you would like to be added to our list of schools who would like to become more involved in the SEARFE Project when we have the resources to support it, please complete and return the Expression of Interest form below. We will acknowledge receipt of your form and contact you as soon as we can include your school in the project. We will also keep you informed of events involving the SEARFE Project in your area, for example, the SEARFE Project was a major feature in the University of New South Wales-lead "Astronomy on the Go" programme that toured more than a dozen schools in regional NSW and several schools in Sydney and the project has been on display at the University of Technology Sydney stands at Science in the City and Science in the Bush. We are also looking into hosting a set of SEARFE equipment at local radio astronomy observatories, such as at CSIRO ATNF's Parkes Observatory, where expert staff are on hand to demonstrate the equipment.

We look forward to hearing from you and eventually having you join the SEARFE Project.

Dr George "Nyima" Warr
SEARFE Project Coordinator

Expression of Interest in the SEARFE Project

If you would like to get involved in the SEARFE Project, please email the following details to the SEARFE Project Coordinator Dr George "Nyima" Warr.

Contact Name:
School Name:
School Address:

Please add any relevant comments here, including details of any equipment in the SEARFE Kit that your school may already have that could be used at your school for the SEARFE Project:




Australia Telescope National Facility