Week 8: Switches and Glitches

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Sunday, July 24, 2022


Taylor Colaizzi

This week, Dr. Charles and I installed GNU Radio onto the laboratory computer to see if we can use the software-defined radio in conjunction with a physical experiment. We haven't yet gotten around to testing out a live experiment, but we are very close! We just need a devise a way to synchronize our radio with the experiment, and then we'll be able to use the setup as a measurement device. It's very exciting! But moving to that level is going to be tricky. We've got to dig into the source code that makes the software tick and see exactly how they go about with their plotting modules. Once we understand those, we can build our own that does just what we need.

After installing the software to the computer, I wrote up an instruction document on how we went about the process. Since it involves writing instructions directly to the command prompt, it was important to make sure everything was spelled out correctly. Luckily, the entire process only takes approximately 45 minutes!

I am so blessed to have seen my family on Monday and Tuesday this week as they drove by for a family vacation. My mom had never been to Washington, D.C. before, so this was her first time in the area! I loved getting to explore the city and share a little more time with them before the internship officially closed.

On Thursday, we finally carried out the big tour of NIST's campus that Dr. Joseph, Valeria, Div, and I had been planning for weeks prior. This was a super fun event, and I'm sure the others enjoyed themselves all day! I personally found the acoustical anechoic chamber and NIST Center for Neutron Research to be particularly fascinating. It's wonderful that we could share our workplace with the other interns so they could see some of the groundbreaking science that's happening just a short drive down the road.

Taylor Colaizzi