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”

Typing in “bottle python awesome” into Google doesn’t produce anywhere near as many results as it should. Bottle is an amazingly easy to use, lightweight framework with a very simple template engine, and all the goodies that you’ll want for form handling, cookies and that sort of thing. It’s not a fully fledged Model-View-Controller (MVC) or Object-Relational (ORM) type framework like Django, Web2Py or Pylons, so it’s not the best choice for large database driven sites; but for small-medium size sites it’s amazing and has…Continue Reading “Bottle: Quick Python Web Apps”

I recently ran into an error on my Mac install of LyX, where pdf images weren’t being displayed. After some searching, it looks like the error is a bug in Ghostscript 8.70, and can be fixed easily: With Ghostscript 9.00 now out, this bug should be squashed (although I haven’t checked).   Edit: After upgrading to Lion, this error reared its ugly head again. After reinstalling Imagemagick (6.7.1-1) and Ghostscript (9.02), using Homebrew, my install is back in action.

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”