Living in a National Radio Quiet Zone

The Green Bank Telescope: An impressive parabolic dish covering 2.3 acres, the GBT has the largest collecting area of any fully-steerable telescope in the world. (Photo: R. Creager, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

The Green Bank Telescope: An impressive parabolic dish covering 2.3 acres, the GBT has the largest collecting area of any fully-steerable telescope in the world. (Photo: R. Creager, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Paul, who shares this National Geographic video about Green Bank, West Virginia, USA–home of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO):

My wife and I took a camping trip to Green Bank in the late 1990s when the massive Green Bank Telescope was about 80% complete. The NRAO site is inspiring and you (of course) will find no better place on the east coast for RF quiet conditions.

The staff at the NRAO give daily tours throughout the year–click here to view the schedule and costs.

I’m overdue for another visit.

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3 thoughts on “Living in a National Radio Quiet Zone

  1. Pamela Roop

    I had been wondering since no wi-fi allowed if my ham radio would be allowed. I do 2 meter locally here in Virginia and a little HF (license is Extra). My concern of living in Green Bank is no service to check on my elderly mother. Do you know if a “tv wire” type radio would be allowed?

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      I took a tour of the Green Bank facility in the late 90s. Of course, they told us about the numerous RF restrictions and the fact it’s in a National Radio Quiet Zone, but specifically mentioned ham radio operators as a the only people who were allowed to transmit. Of course, a number of the scientists there are hams. Indeed, I just checked a license database and discovered a few dozen hams in Green Bank, WV. Here’s info about their repeater: http://www.frontiernet.net/~n8rv_rptr/

      You might call the Green Bank facility and double check, but I think you’ll be okay!

      Cheers,
      Thomas

      Reply
  2. Dave Richards AA7EE

    Great stuff Thomas! My first thought was that I wondered if radio receivers were allowed, due to possible radiation from local oscillators, but I think they are. What a fantastic area for SWL’ing! I also found this Yahoo video on Vimeo about the area –

    Thanks for posting this. This might sound odd coming from a radio ham, but the prospect of living in the National Radio Quiet Zone sounds quite appealing.

    Dave
    AA7EE

    Reply

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