One of the main goals of Open Source Radio Telescopes is to provide resources and documentation to students, teachers, and hobbyists who are interested in building radio telescope projects. Here is a list of projects that OSRT members have created instructions and documentation for:

Small Loop Antenna

This simple loop antenna is a great beginner’s project to learn about electronics as well as astronomy.  It may be used to monitor Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance (SID) events caused by solar activity.  Here are some blog posts about the Small Loop Antenna: [links broken, will be repaired soon!]

Small Loop Antenna: Background and Construction

Small Loop Antenna: Electronics

Small Loop Antenna: Software and Signal Processing

Horn Antennas

Horn antennas are also great introductory radio astronomy projects. This type of antenna is capable of detecting Neutral Hydrogen emissions from the Milky Way! Several versions of the horn antenna design have been developed and tested by OSRT members and Research Experience for Teachers participants. Here are some links to blog posts about two of the horn antenna designs (“Alexander” and “Bessie”) developed so far [these links are broken too but will be fixed shortly]:


Introduction to the Alexander telescope project

Alexander Materials

Alexander Telescope Construction

Alexander Data Collection


Bessie Telescope Project

Open Source Radio Telescopes DIY Projects

Itty Bitty Radio Telescope (IBT)

Image courtesy NRAO

The Itty Bitty Radio Telescope is a project of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. It is probably the simplest and quickest telescope to build, and can be used to detect blackbody radiators like the Sun and the human body. To learn more about the IBT, check out this webpage:

Itty Bitty Radio Telescope