2. Methods

Chapter 2: Research Methodology

2.1 Equipment

2.1.1 Lightning Electromagnetic Field (Buddipole) 

  • Buddipole Antenna 
  • VLF Radio Set
  • 3.5mm Male to Male Audio Connecter 
  • Coaxial Cable (20 Metres)
  • Radio Skypipe Software
  • Computer (windows osx)

2.1.2 Lightning Visual (UFO Camera)

  • UFO Camera (Watec 902H Ultimate Camera)
  • Acrylic Box
  • UFO Capture HD2 Software
  • Flexible Tripod
  • GV to USB2 Cable

2.1.3 Solar Electromagnetic Field (SuperSID)

  • 8 25mm PVC Pipes (Length: 96.1cm)
  • 8 25mm PVC Pipes (Length: 7cm)
  • 4 25mm PVC Pipes (Length: 51cm)
  • 16 25mm PVC T-Connector 
  • Coaxial Cable (20 Meters)
  • Electrical Cable (120 Meters)
  • 12 Terminal Block
  • Raspberry Pi Set
  • USB Sound Card
  • SuperSID Software

2.2 Diagram of System

Figure 2.1: Diagram of System

2.3 Procedures

2.3.1 Lightning Electromagnetic Field (Buddipole)

  • Download the latest version of Radio Skypipe on a Windows computer.
  • Install Radio Skypipe (2.4.1 for this tutorial).
  • Connect the Buddipole to the VLF radio via ANT. IN port.
  • Connect the 3.5mm from the Audio port of VLF to sound card mic input.
  • Right Click on Radio-Skypipe II and click on Run as administrator. Search for the Radio-Skypipe II on the start menu. 
  • Click on Options. 
  • Click on Data Source and select Sound Card Left.
  • Click on Sound tab and select the device that is receiving the signal input.
  • Click on Identity tab and input the following under Latitude: 1:30:00.0. Then, proceed to input the following under Longitude: 104:20:00.0.
  • Set the directory where the data should be saved to. 
2.3.2 Lightning Visual (UFO Camera)

  • Install GV-USB2 Version 1.01 Light Capture software on the laptop.
  • Install UFOCaptureV2 software on the same laptop.
  • Mount the lens on the WAT-902H2/3 ULTIMATE camera by pressing the threaded portion of the lens mount against the threaded portion of the camera mount, then rotate the lens clockwise and screw in the lens mount to be installed on the camera.
  • Connect the iris cable to the connector for iris on the camera.
  • Adjust flange focal length by setting the lens iris open. Set zoom at the wide end and the focus at the near end.
  • Operate the flange focal length adjustment mechanism on the camera to focus on an object 0.3m away from the lens.
  • Ensure that the object at the telephoto end, at around the mid-position, and at the wide end can be focused respectively. (If objects cannot be focused, repeat the above step)
  • Remove dust on lens and brush dust off with an oil-free soft brush or a blower-brush.
  • Connect GV-USB2 cable from the UFO camera to the laptop.
  • Ensure that the power to the WAT-902H2/3 ULTIMATE and the peripheral equipment is turned off before making any connections.
  • Remove the lens mount cap from the camera and attach the CS-mount lens. Use the C-mount adaptor (30CMA-R) when a C-mount is used.
  • Connect VIDEO OUT on the WAT-902H2/3 ULTIMATE to the monitor, using a coaxial cable with 75Ω impedance, such as an RG-58/U or an RG-G/U. Select a monitor with the same television system as the WAT-902H2/3 ULTIMATE, preferably a monitor with more than 600TV lines.
  • Insert the power plug of the power adaptor into POWER IN on the back panel of the WAT-902H2/3 ULTIMATE. Confirm that the power adapter is not connected to the power supply before insertion of the power plug into POWER IN.
  • Turn on the power to the WAT-902H2/3 ULTIMATE, monitor and all other equipment.
  • Open the UFOCaptureV2  system and ensure that a clear picture can be obtained on the monitor.
  • Set GAMMA CORRECTION SWITCH to HI (Gamma: 0.35). This setting will lighten dark areas and brighten dark areas.
  • Set AGC SELECTION SWITCH to HI (Range: 5-60dB). This setting is used for surveillance in a low light environment.
  • Put the camera into a waterproof acrylic box, next to the connected monitor. 
  • Start recording on the UFOCaptureV2 system and let the system run 24 hours a day.
  • Pictures and/or videos will be taken when the camera detects light or motion.

2.3.3 Solar Electromagnetic Field (SuperSID)

Figure 2.2: File and Saw

In Figure 2.2, there is a file on the left and a saw on the right. Note that in most cases, sawing a PVC pipe to the recommended length is required. To saw the pipes, First measure required length and make a marking. Then saw off the excess. After sawing, file the ends of the pipe to ensure a cleaner finish.

Figure 2.3: Before and After Filing Hardware Frame

  1. Connect two connectors to each end of the 96.1cm PVC pipe. Repeat this process for 4 96.1cm pipe
Figure 2.4: Frame Construction Step 1

  1. Connect the shortest PVC pipes to the connectors. Repeat this step for all the shortest PVC pipe. 

Figure 2.5: Frame Construction Step 2
  1. Connect the smallest PVC pipe to the connector on the 96.1cm PVC pipe on both ends. Repeat this for 4 of the 96.1cm PVC pipes.

Figure 2.6: Frame Construction Step 3

  1. Now, using 2 of the above assembled component, construct a square by using two other PVC pipe and connect it to the component that had just been built. Repeat this process again. 

Figure 2.7: Frame Construction Step 4

5. Attach the 4 medium length PVC pipes to one of the squares

Figure 2.8: Frame Construction Step 5

6. Finally, attach the other square to the assembly

Figure 2.9: Frame Construction Step 6 Wire Assembly

  1. Start by wrapping the 100 meter cable around the frame of the antenna. Ensure that all sides get equal tension. The antenna should end up with 25 coils. Preferably, get another friend to help with this step. One person can feed the wires while the other can do the turning and wrapping itself.

  1. Strip the two ends of the wire and remove about 1 cm of the insulation.

Figure 2.10: Coaxial Cable

  1. Strip the outermost plastic jacket. Remove about 4 cm. We recommend using a penknife so as not to damage to the metallic shield. Then, bundle the wire together as shown in the picture below. Afterwards, solder the wires to prevent them from fraying

Figure 2.11: Stripped Coaxial Cable

  1. Cut the dielectric insulator 1 cm from the tip, exposing the center core. Take extra car when cutting away the dielectric insulator as even a small damage to the center core can have significant effect on the transmission of signal. We recommend using a penknife or scissors for greater control. Step 2 to 4 should be applied to both ends of the coaxial wire.

  1. On one end of the coaxial wire, connect the metallic shield to one end of the 100 cable and connect the center core to the other end. This can be accomplished by using a terminal block or by soldering.

  1. Cut off one connector of the 3.5mm audio cable , leaving at least 4 cm of wire behind. Next, carefully strip off the outermost insulation. There should be three wires. ( Red, White and Black) Solder all three at the tip to prevent them from fraying.

  1. The black wire is the ground.  Connect this to the metallic shield. For the Red and White wires, connect it to the metallic core. It is alright make all the connections using a terminal block or by soldering. Software

  1. Setup a Raspberry Pi and connect the 3.5mm audio cable into a working USB Soundcard. The USB sound card then should be plugged into the Raspberry Pi. 

  1. Turn on the Raspberry Pi and follow the instructions on screen to setup the Pi. Enter the Login ID and Password. After being directed into the root terminal of the Raspberry Pi, use the command “startx” to start the GUI mode.

  1. After starting the GUI mode of the Raspberry Pi, open LXTerminal and run the following commands to install the required modification files.
    “sudo apt-get install python-matplotlib”
    “sudo apt-get install python-wxgtk2.8”
    “sudo apt-get install python-scipy”
    “sudo apt-get install python-alsaaudio”

  1. Download the SuperSID programme into the Raspberry Pi. 

  1. Run “cat/proc/asound/cards” to find the name of the USB Soundcard. 

6. Copy the name and input it into the file “/home/pi/supersid/config/supersid.wx.cfg” and “/home/pi/supersid/config/supersid.text.cfg” under “soundcard”.

  1. To run the SuperSID programme, input in LXTerminal “~/supersid/code/version1.3.1”. For first time users, input “chmod 755 supersid.py”  then “./supersid.py ~/home/config/supersid.wx.cfg” for graphics mode and “./supersid.py ~/home/config/supersid.text.cfg” for text mode, which runs on less RAM (Random Access Memory). If it is not the first time running the SuperSID programme, input “./supersid.py ~/home/config/supersid.wx.cfg” for graphics mode and “./supersid.py ~/home/config/supersid.text.cfg” for text mode which runs on less RAM (Random Access Memory).

2.4 Risk Assessment and Management

It is advisable to avoid going into the rain to repair the systems, should any of them malfunction.

While sawing the PVC Pipes, safety goggles must be worn to avoid particles from entering the eyes. The person handling the saw must be aware of his/her surroundings so as not to cause harm to anyone.

The antenna construction process requires soldering. The soldering iron is extremely hot thus only one person should work on it at any time while wearing gloves. It is advisable to use a soldering exhaust fan to absorb harmful solder fumes.

Gloves should be worn while using a pen knife to remove insulation from the cut end of an insulated wire.

2.5 Data Analysis

Our group analysed data that came from our three different systems, mainly the UFO Camera, Buddi Pole and the SuperSID antenna. 

We placed the UFO Camera in the Info Hub of School of Science and Technology for a period of four to five weeks to collect lightning visuals. The data that we collected are in the results section below. 

We placed our Buddi Pole, connected to a VLF Radio, near the UFO Camera to detect disruptions in the electromagnetic field in school.

We also set up an Square Antenna to collect solar e-field data.

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