Cambridge

The Cavendish Laboratory pioneered in radio astronomy under the direction of Professor Sir Martin Ryle, F.R.S. from 1945 to 1982. The first Observatory was on the outskirts of Cambridge. In 1957, through the generosity of Mullard Ltd. and with support from the Science Research Council, the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory (MRAO) was built 5 miles south-west of Cambridge, at Lord’s Bridge. The Observatory is operated by the Cavendish Laboratory, supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. The work of the MRAO was recognised by the award of the 1974 Nobel Prize for physics to Professor Ryle and Professor Hewish.

geographic longitude: 00° 02′ 20″
geographic latitude: 52° 09′ 59″
altitude above sea level: 24 m
diameter of Ryle telescope: 8 element interferometer with elements of diameter of 13 meter on 4.8 km baseline
 minimum elevation:  0°
diameter of CAT telescope: 3 element interferometer with elements of 0.7 meter diameter on 5 meter baseline
 minimum elevation:  30°
diameter of CLFST telescope: 60 element interferometer on 4.6 km baseline
 minimum elevation:  0°
diameter of VSA telescope: 14 element interferometer on few meter baseline
 minimum elevation:  55°
diameter of MERLIN element telescope: 32 m
 minimum elevation:  2°

Available observing mode: single dish, Multi-Element Radio-Linked Interferometer Network, MERLIN, Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).

Frequencies used currently:

Frequency band Observing mode
37.5 – 38.25 MHz local interferometry
79.25 – 80.25 MHz single dish
150.05 – 153 MHz single dish, MERLIN
322.0 -328.6 MHz single dish
406.1 – 410.0 MHz single dish, MERLIN
608.0 – 614.0 MHz single dish, MERLIN
1330.0 – 1400.0 MHz single dish
1400.0 – 1427.0 MHz single dish, MERLIN
2655.0 – 2690.0 MHz single dish
2690.0 – 2700.0 MHz single dish
4800.0 – 4990.0 MHz single dish, MERLIN
4990.0 – 5000.0 MHz single dish, MERLIN
14.47 – 14.50 GHz single dish
15.35 – 15.40 GHz single dish
22.01 – 22.21 GHz single dish
22.21 – 22.50 GHz single dish, MERLIN
23.60 – 24.00 GHz single dish, MERLIN
31.2 – 31.8 GHz single dish

Research programs: CLFST all sky survey (interferometry), scintillation studies, solar wind, mapping of radio sources, MERLIN, Very Long Baseline Interferometry, pulsars, spectral lines, continuum observations, cosmic microwave background research.