Commission J: Radio Astronomy

The activities of the Commission are concerned with observation and interpretation of all radio emissions and reflections from celestial objects. Emphasis is placed on:

  • the promotion of technical means for making radio-astronomical observations and data analysis,
  • support of activities to protect radio-astronomical observations from harmful interference.

UK Panel Commission J Representative

Professor Keith Grainge
The School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
T(1)(Jodrell Bank): 0161-306-9654
T(2)(Turing Building): 0161-275-4690
T(3): 07920-575-647
E: keith.grainge [at]

Highlights of UK research relevant to Commission J

Radio Astronomy is very diverse and is studied by many UK universities. A very brief summary of notable UK activity in this area is summarised here:

  • The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) is a next generation radio telescope to be located in Australia and South Africa
    • The international SKA Headquarters is hosted at Jodrell Bank run by the University of Manchester
    • The UK lead two of the International Consortia developing the design of the SKA: Signal and Data Transport (Manchester); Science Data Processor (Cambridge)
    • In addition the UK plays key roles in other aspects of the SKA design: Central Signal Processor (Manchester, Oxford); Low Frequency Aperture Array (Cambridge, Oxford); Dish (Oxford); Telescope Manager (ATC Edinburgh); Mid Frequency Aperture Array (Manchester, Cambridge)
  • The e-MERLIN/VLBI National Facility is the UK's facility for high resolution radio astronomy observations
    • e-MERLIN is comprised of seven radio telescopes spanning 217km operated by The University of Manchester for the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
    •  e-MERLIN/VLBI National Facility provides the UK contribution to the European VLBI Network (EVN)
  • The Arcminute Microkelvin Imager (AMI) is a dual array radio telescope purpose built for observations of clusters of galaxies
    • AMI is located at Lord’s Bridge and is operated by Cambridge University.
  • The Lovell Telescope is a 76-m antenna which makes it the 3rd largest steerable dish radio telescope in the world.
    • The Lovell is located at Jodrell Bank and is operated by The University of Manchester.
  • LOFAR is a radio telescope working at the lowest frequencies accessible from Earth. It involves many Universities across the UK and is led by ASTRON (Netherlands)
    • The UK LOFAR station is located at Chilbolton.
  • C-BASS is a project to image the whole sky at a wavelength of six centimetres, measuring both the brightness and the polarization of the sky.
    • C-BASS is a collaboration between Oxford, Manchester, Caltech and South Africa
  • QUIJOTE is dedicated to measure the polarization of the microwave sky in the frequency range between 11 GHz and 40GHz, and at angular scales of 1 degree.
    • QUIJOTE is a collaboration between IAC Tenerife, Manchester, Santander and Cambridge