Thursday NRAO Very Large Array (VLA) Tour


03 July Update: All available space for the special CSVHFS tour of the VLA has been filled.  Per the VLA, we are not permitted to grow the special tour group any further, and each person registered for the tour will be credentialed for access.

If you were unable to register for the special tour before it filled but would still like to visit it during your time in New Mexico, the VLA offers a variety of standard walking tours that might interest you, and you may certainly participate in any of those on your own.  Visit for more information, hours of operations, and driving directions.

The 2017 Central States VHF Society Conference is proud to announce its partnership with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Very Large Array (VLA) to provide conference attendees and accompanying spouses and family members with a very up-close-and-personal tour of the iconic VLA located outside of Magadelena, New Mexico on  the day of Thursday, July 27.

The VLA consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration, each antenna being 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The data collected by each sky oriented antennas is combined electronically to create an effective resolution of an antenna that is 36km (22 miles) across, possessing the sensitivity of a dish that is 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter.

This tour, which will be provided by fellow amateur radio operators who work for the VLA, will provide an overview of the mission of the VLA, its capabilities, and how it has advanced the science of radio astronomy.  Participants will be treated to an up close look at least one of the VLA antennas.

Those registered for this one-of-a-kind tour should plan to arrive in Albuquerque on Wednesday, July 26.  An air-conditioned tour bus will depart from the convention hotel on Thursday at 8:00am.  Boxed lunches and water will be provided.