As part my PhD, I used GPS satellites to measure the beam pattern of a telescope I built. While this can be done easily with the pyEphem module, I found that there wasn’t much documentation out there on the interwebs. So, I’ve written a simple Python script (below) which takes you through the basics of using pyEphem to track the path of GPS satellites. Firstly, you’ll be needing a list of GPS satellites. This can be downloaded from: This is in the form of…Continue Reading “GPS sattelite tracking in Python using pyEphem”

Cygnus A

I recently spent a few weeks at the Medicina Radiotelescope, Italy, working on getting data from a correlator into a format that CASA and AIPS could read. To do this, I made a python script to convert the data into a FITS IDI file. The FITS Interferometry Data Interchange Convention (“FITS-IDI”) is a set of conventions layered upon the standard FITS format to assist in the interchange of data recorded by interferometric telescopes, particularly at radio frequencies and very long baselines. pyFitsidi is a collection…Continue Reading “pyFitsidi – Python FITS IDI writing”

To celebrate the release of LyX 1.6.6, I thought I’d upload an Oxford Thesis Template for mathematics/physics/engineering, based on K. Gillow’s excellent LaTeX class. While it’s tailored to Oxford, with a few modifications I’m sure it could be used for any thesis. To get it working, you’ll  have to copy the ociamthesis-lyx.cls into your TeX installation, and copy the ociamthesis-lyx.layout to your LyX layout directory. Have a read of the readme.txt for further instructions. Finally, here’s an example PDF.   Update (May 2011): I have…Continue Reading “Oxford LyX Thesis Template”

No Mr Bond, I expect you to die..

To anyone doing an undergraduate degree in physics – download and learn to use these three programs: LyX: A frontend for LaTeX,  specially designed for people who don’t like LaTeX. You could consider it “training wheels for LaTeX”, but if you learn it well you’ll probably never need to learn full-on LaTeX. JabREF: A reference manager for making Bibtex bibliographies. It plays nice with LyX, and you can use it to organise all those papers you read just for fun. Inkscape: A vector graphics program…Continue Reading “Physics report with LyX + JabRef + Inkscape”

In my honours at UWA (2008), I was the lone cowboy who decided to LyX instead of LaTeX. It saved me a shitload of time and LaTeX related anguish. As such, I thought I’d offer a UWA Thesis Template up to give a helping hand to anyone else who wants to give LyX  a stab. In retrospect, there’s a few things I did dodgy along the way (I was pretty stressed out though, in my defense). Even so, I reckon it’ll be useful for some….Continue Reading “UWA Physics LyX Thesis template”