National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)


FLC Region

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NRAO Headquarters
1180 Boxwood Estate Rd.
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Laboratory Representative


Founded in 1957, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) that is part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities Inc., (AUI). The NRAO has designed, built and operated several radio telescopes in the North American region, and is a major contributing partner with the design, construction and operation of the largest international radio telescope site to date, located in Chile, South America. Additionally, the NRAO built critical components for a successful satellite project launched by NASA. The field of radio astronomy has produced 6 Nobel Prize Laureates.


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation that conducts basic and applied research in science and engineering, as it relates to radio astronomy. Research engineers and astronomers are tasked with creating state-of-art instruments from components designed by a cadre of researchers with expertise in a variety of technical fields including semiconductors, photonics, electronic control systems, software algorithms, cyber infrastructure, data management systems, automated processing workflow, RF design, structural/materials engineering and cryogenics. Astronomical observers are tasked with unlocking the secrets of the cosmos.

Technology Disciplines

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10-100 GHz Double-Ridged Horn Antenna with Integrated Waveguide Coax Launcher - TRL 6
Absorptive RF Filter for 20Ghz to 100GHz range - TRL 2
Broadband & Multiband Radio Antenna Feed - TRL 4
IC for Scalable Radar Image Processing
Polar ADC & Down Converter
Polarization Preserving, Fiber Option Rotary Joint - TRL 9
Serial ADC - TRL 6
Surface Treatment for Non-Specular Reflection - TRL 5
Variable Frequency Coherent Hybrid Synthesizer - TRL 9
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GBO RF Anechoic Chamber & Antenna Test Range
Green Bank Observatory (GBO)
Long Baseline Observatory (LBO)
NRAO Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)
NRAO Central Development Laboratory (CDL)
NRAO Very Large Array (VLA)
NTC CDL Chemistry Lab
Precision Machine Shop

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