Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory


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Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory

(mul -ard) (MRAO) The radio observatory of the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, situated at Lord's Bridge, near Cambridge, UK. The main instruments at the site are antenna arrays: the Ryle Telescope consists of eight 13-meter dishes and is used primarily for microwave background observations; the Cambridge Low Frequency Synthesis Telescope (CLFST), constructed in 1980 to survey the northern sky at 151 and 38 MHz, is carrying out the seventh and eighth Cambridge deep-sky radio surveys (7C, 8C); and the Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope (COAST) is an optical interferometer working on radio aperture synthesis principles. The 3.6 Hectare Array, with which pulsars were first discovered in 1967, took part in the Second Cambridge Pulsar Survey (completed 1998), a survey of the northern sky at the low frequency of 81.5 MHz, which detected 20 pulsars, all previously known. The Cosmic Anisotropy Telescope (CAT) was built in 1993 to measure structure in the microwave background and was turned off and partially dismantled in 2000 after publishing two sets of results. MRAO is also the site of a major element of MERLIN.