Chilbolton Observatory

The Chilbolton Facility for Atmospheric and Radio Research (CFARR) is one of the world’s most advanced meteorological radar experimental facilities, and is home to the world’s largest fully steerable meteorological radar, the Chilbolton Advanced Meteorological Radar (CAMRa).

Live data from Chilbolton are showcased on the Chilbolton weather web.

In addition to our ongoing research programmes in meteorology and radio propagation, Chilbolton Observatory frequently hosts visiting experiments and research teams from universities and other research organisations, both from the UK and abroad.

In January 2006 Chilbolton received the first signals from the new GIOVE-A satellite launched for the ESA’s Galileo navigation system. Recent developments have added new capability to detect orbiting satellites and space debris.

Chilbolton Observatory is part of STFC. The facilities at Chilbolton are run by the Chilbolton Group of RAL Space at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and are funded largely through the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Forms to apply to use CFARR facilities or CFARR data archived by BADC are available from the user information page.

History

Chilbolton Observatory is a 76 hectare site surrounded by arable land in rural Hampshire. During the second world war it was an airfield. In the 1960s it was chosen to be the site of the pioneering 25m antenna due to its clear view of the horizon and its relative freedom from sources of radio interference. In addition to this antenna it is now home to an extensive range of sensitive meteorological equipment.

Its large area makes it easy to accommodate visiting instruments for research programmes and field campaigns. Several high-profile campaigns have been successfully hosted at the site in recent years.

How to get to Chilbolton Observatory

Science and Technology Facilities Council Chilbolton Observatory
Drove Road
Chilbolton
Nr Stockbridge
Hampshire
SO20 6BJ

Get directions to Chilbolton Observatory Observatory using Google maps.

On-site accommodation

To book one of two on-site study bedrooms:

Email: elena.jackson@stfc.ac.uk

Contacts

Telephone: 01264 860 391

Email: chris.walden@stfc.ac.uk or darcy.ladd@stfc.ac.uk

Last updated: 31 March 2022

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