Division of Astronomical Sciences
Dear Colleague Letter: Concepts for Future Operation of the Arecibo Observatory (NSF 16-005)
Arecibo Observatory is a visitor-oriented national research center, supported by NSF and focusing on radio and radar astronomy and atmospheric sciences. Arecibo Observatory is operated and managed for NSF by SRI International, Universities Space Research Association (USRA), and Universidad Metropolitana (UMET). Its principal observing facilities are 19 kilometers south of the city of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Arecibo Observatory provides telescope users with a wide range of instrumentation for research and observation. The center has a permanent staff of scientists, engineers, and technicians who are available to help visiting investigators with their observation programs.
Arecibo Observatory's principal astronomical research instrument is a 305-meter fixed spherical radio/radar telescope, the world's largest radio telescope. Its frequency capabilities range from 50 megahertz to 10 gigahertz. Transmitters include an S-band (2,380-megahertz) radar system for planetary studies and a 430-megahertz radar system for aeronomy studies. Arecibo Observatory's outreach activities include the popular Angel Ramos Foundation Visitor's Center with interactive exhibits, the only science-oriented facility of its type in Puerto Rico, and summer workshops for science teachers from across the island.