- GBO/AO Single Dish and Observer Training Workshops (May 11-20, 2020)05 Feb, 2020
- Arecibo Observatory update after recent earthquakes09 Jan, 2020
- The Arecibo Observatory Congratulates Dr. Martha P. Haynes, Recipient of 2019 Bruce Gold Medal11 Dec, 2019
- Colloquium Series Recap11 Dec, 2019
- In Memoriam: Yervant Terzian, 1939 - 201906 Dec, 2019
- AO Observations of a Binary Pulsar Test the Theory of General Relativity in New Science Publication06 Dec, 2019
- The International Pulsar Timing Array: Second data release06 Dec, 2019
- Modeling Radar Albedos of Laboratory-Characterized Particles: Application to the Lunar Surface06 Dec, 2019
- Culebra Aerosol Research Lidar (CARLA) Project Selected for Funding04 Dec, 2019
- Arecibo Observatory to Offer New Opportunities for Visiting Scientists14 Nov, 2019
- Arecibo Observatory Open House at the 235th AAS meeting28 Oct, 2019
- UCF to Enhance Arecibo Observatory’s Computing Power Using Microsoft Azure17 Oct, 2019
- Arecibo Observatory Gets $19 Million NASA Grant to Help Protect Earth from Asteroids29 Sep, 2019
- National Science Foundation Awards Arecibo Observatory $12.3 Million Grant29 Sep, 2019
- El Observatorio de Arecibo celebra el regreso a clases con nuevas exhibiciones 30 Aug, 2019
- Asteroid Arrives Early for Puerto Rico’s Asteroid Day Celebrations28 Jun, 2019
Byadmin29 September 2019 Engineering
The money will be used during the next four years to make a range of repairs and improvements to the facility, which will also expand Arecibo’s capabilities to do cutting edge observations.
The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico today was awarded $12.3 million by the National Science Foundation to make repairs and improve resiliency of the facility managed by UCF.
The congressionally supported emergency supplemental funds represent a significant investment in the long-term viability of the site to do cutting-edge observations of Earth’s atmosphere, asteroids, interstellar gas, distant galaxies, pulsars, fast radio bursts, and to search for gravitational waves from distant cataclysmic events.
“NSF is excited to see the full potential of the Arecibo Observatory’s unique scientific capabilities realized as this restorative work is completed,” says Ashley Zauderer, program director at the National Science Foundation.
The money will be used during the next four years to make a range of repairs and improvements to the facility, which will also expand Arecibo’s capabilities.
“The grant will ensure that Arecibo Observatory remains a leading research and educational institution in the world.” — Francisco Cordova, Arecibo director
“The grant will ensure that Arecibo Observatory remains a leading research and educational institution in the world,” says Francisco Cordova, the facility’s director. “The repairs and investment in infrastructure are critical to the long-term structural integrity of the radio telescope, reliability and quality of collected data, and improving overall performance of the systems.”
UCF manages Arecibo under a cooperative agreement with Universidad Ana G. Méndez and Yang Enterprises Inc.
The Arecibo Observatory received a $2 million grant in June 2018 after Hurricanes Irma and María ripped through the island and damaged the facility in 2017. Those funds were used to make emergency repairs such as fixing the catwalk that leads to the reflectors suspended above the 305-meter dish. In addition, buildings were repaired, generators were serviced, and first responder equipment was replaced. This funding also enabled the facility to prepare for the 2019 hurricane season.
Projects from this grant include:
- Repairing one of the suspension cables holding the primary telescope platform, ensuring long-term structural integrity of one of the main structural elements of the telescope.
- Recalibrating the primary reflector, which will restore the observatory’s sensitivity at higher frequencies.
- Aligning the Gregorian Reflector, improving current calibration and pointing.
- Installing a new control system for S band radar, which is part of the microwave band of the electromagnetic spectrum.
- Replacing the modulator on the 430 MHz transmitter, increasing consistency of power output and data quality.
- Improving the telescope’s pointing controls and data tracking systems.
Each of these projects is essential to the work conducted at the facility, which includes research in the areas of planetary radar, astronomy and space and atmospheric sciences, administrators say. The telescope has assisted in the understanding of gravitational waves, the theory of relativity, the discovery of new planets, and other research. The instruments also play an important role in monitoring asteroids that could pose a hazard to Earth.