Report - - Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory – Cambridge – December 2015 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory – Cambridge – December 2015

mockney reject

Staff member
The history

The Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory(MRAO) is home to a number of large aperture synthesis radio telescopes, including the One-Mile Telescope, 5-km Ryle Telescope, and the Arcminute Micro kelvin Imager. Radio interferometry started in the mid-1940s on the outskirts of Cambridge, but with funding from the Science Research Counciland a donation of £100,000 from Mullard Limited, construction of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory commenced at Lord's Bridge,a few kilometres to the west of Cambridge. The observatory was founded under Martin Ryle of the Radio-Astronomy Group of the Cavendish Laboratory,University of Cambridge and was opened by Sir Edward Victor Appletonon 25 July 1957. This group is now known as the Cavendish Astrophysics Group.

The site is located at Lord's Bridge,Cambridgeshire on a former ordnance storage facility, next to the now-abandoned Cambridge-Bedford railway line. A portion of the track bed of the old line, running nearly East-West for several miles, was used to form the main part of the "5km" radio-telescope and the Cambridge Low Frequency Synthesis Telescope.

The ones we decided to visit are known as the AMI Large Array(AMI LA) it is composed of eight 12.8-metre-diameter,equatorially mounted parabolic antennas, which were previously part of the Ryle Telescope. The antennas are separated by distances ranging between 18 and 110 m. The telescope has anangular resolution of approximately 30 arcseonds. The LA is used to image the radio sources (mainly radio galaxies) that contaminate the Small Array observations of the CMB. The LA is being used to carry out the Tenth Cambridge Survey of radio sources. The first results from the survey were used to extend the measured 15-GHzsource counts to sub-millijansky levels; this is an order of magnitude deeper than achieved by the Ninth Cambridge Survey, which was the first survey of significant sky coverage at a comparable radio frequency.

The Explore

Again myself and @slayaaaa hit this one up in the no too early morning, we were hoping to get the sun rise, but the sun didn’t really rise all day….

Rather than hit the normal part we decided to go after this cluster of 8 dishes. They kinda reminded me of a group of flowers aiming up at the sun. We joked as we walked towards then that the dirt and the moss on them looked like they had already been HDR’d lol.

Once we got in the area where they are we didn’t really know what to do so had a go at climbing them. This was pretty straightforward and fairly fun, although once slayaaaa noticed the hatch in the actual dish the fun really started. We climbed through the hatch and out onto the dish and just chilled for a bit. As it was early in the morning the whole area was pretty quiet and it was nice to sit and relax up there. It was quite interesting to see that some of them were or tracks and could be moved if they needed to be. The track went quite a way into the distance but we didn’t really have time to follow it.

Enjoy the pics


























mockney reject

Staff member
mmMMmm, Dishy. Must of been a nice chill up there! #8 looks like some weird kind of transformer.

Lol yeah I hadn't noticed that before


28DL Member
28DL Member
Me and some friends explored there about a year ago, went a few times. The telescopes are abandoned and not collecting data anymore, but the site is obviously still worth something to the university which is why they have cctv cameras in various places and the alarms still function. For those who want to go visit, be careful: enter through the gate southwest of the main gate, and watch out for the security guard who occasionally patrols round, as well as the guy who lives in a caravan hidden in a little concrete cove. That being said it was fun climbing the telescopes and really cool to see the old school tech around the site.


Exploring with Bob
Regular User
Nice report that - may have to venture down south and have a wander :thumb

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