ERAU Prescott Observatory

ERAU Radio Astronomy Instruments

The Embry-Riddle Radio Observatory operates in three separate regimes. The observatories’ principal activity is in radio astronomy where the observatory operates several telescopes to detect astronomical sources and events. There is also the radio science area where the observatory operates several detectors for measuring the earth’s electromagnetic properties on a continual basis as well as transient events like meteor detection. The third area puts many aspects of astronomical and terrestrial radiation and events together in its Space Situational Awareness Center. 

The Radio Telescope Observatory provides capabilities for students and faculty in the following areas:


ERAU Goals   Hydrogen Line Emissions
ERAU Goals   Pulsar Observations
ERAU Goals   Jovian Emissions
ERAU Goals   Solar Storms and Space Weather


ERAU Goals   Magnetic Field Monitoring
ERAU Goals   Ionospheric Monitoring
ERAU Goals   Meteor Scatter Measurements

Satellite Monitoring and Tracking

ERAU Goals   Telemetry Signal Analysis
ERAU Goals   Weather Satellite Reception
ERAU Goals   Satellite Voice and Data

Special Targeted Search and Monitoring

ERAU Goals   Long Term Stare Capability

Deep Space Probe Monitoring and Tracking

ERAU Goals   Future Capability

For more information on current and future advances in Radio Astronomy,  click here.

Classical Radio Astronomy at ERAU, Prescott

ERAU Radio Astronomy Telescopes

4-Meter HI Telescope 4-Meter HI Telescope - The 4-meter telescope is transit aligned with fixed elevation and a jack screw for declination. It is equipped with a 1.4 GHz feed and low noise amplifier and is suitable for galactic neutral hydrogen measurements. The declination drive will be modified for computer control.
Quad Yagi Quad Yagi Hydrogen Line Antenna - This antenna consists of four 20-element yagi antennas in a square arrangement mounted on a full elevation over azimuth mount on a self-standing 8-ft tower. This telescope will is able to track in full azimuth and elevation under computer control allowing full sky coverage. The antenna will provide about 67 dB gain before the signal is sent to either the RAS 1.42 GHz (neutral hydrogen line) spectrometer or one of the several SDR based receivers developed by the observatory for student use.
VLF Loop Antenna VLF Loop Antenna - The VLF loop is a student built loop antenna designed to monitor the ionosphere and detect sudden ionospheric disturbances (SIDs) by monitoring the frequencies of several VLF radio stations and detecting their signal as it is deflected by the ionosphere.
Jove Antenna JOVE Dual-dipole Antenna Array - The JOVE dual-dipole antenna system consists of two 20-MHz dipoles arranged in an east-west pattern with the south dipole electrically delayed to cause the beam to point to the south.  The array is used to detect noise from the Jupiter system and measure the effect of Jupiter's moon Io on Jupiter's electromagnetic torus.  It is also used to measure solar noise bursts on a daily basis.  For more information, click here.

Student Telescope Projects

Students are encourages to design and construct their own radio telescope concepts. The following are two of these projects which are in various stages of construction.

ERAU Goals3-meter full motion telescope

1420 MHz Radio Telescope The old 3-meter telescope dish has been moved to the 4-meter 406 MHz mount and is being rebuilt as an elevation over azimuth telescope with full sky coverage. This telescope will continue to use a 1420 MHz feed for HI studies. This work is being done as a student project under the University's IGNITE student program.

ERAU Goals5-meter zenith dish

ERAU Radio Astronomy Receivers
- The ERAU Radio Observatory has several radio astronomy receivers that are used in conjunction with various antennas to create ad-hoc radio telescopes. Details on these receivers can be found here.