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The software for this exercise presents students with a radio telescope whose default operating characteristics (beam width, receiver noise, steerability) can be set by the instructor. Students can point the telescope at a source in the sky, viewing the output of the radio receiver on a graphic display that resembles a digital oscilloscope. The student manual describes an exercise in which students first acquaint themselves with the operation of the radio telescope. They then measure the signals from several pulsars at various frequencies, learning about the appearance of pulsar signals, the strength and period of the signal as a function of frequency, and the relation between pulsar period and age of the pulsar. Finally they view the signal from a pulsar at three different frequencies, using the delay in arrival times due to interstellar dispersion to estimate the distance to the pulsar.
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