CRAF

Keeping the frequency bands used by European radio astronomers free of interference

Mission

The Committee on Radio Astronomy Frequencies (CRAF) is an Expert Committee hosted and administered by Science Connect (ESF). Established in 1988, it represents all the major radio astronomical observatories in Europe. 

The Committee’s mission is to coordinate activities to keep the frequency bands used by radio astronomers in Europe free from interference. CRAF works towards this task by:

  • Promoting the policies and position of radio astronomy and space sciences in Europe in discussions with the major public and private telecommunications agencies.
  • Acting as the European voice together with other groups of radio astronomers in discussions within the international bodies that decide on the use of radio spectrum.
  • Initiating and encouraging scientific studies aimed at reducing radio astronomy interference at source and the effects of interference.

In addition, the Committee works on behalf of IRAM (Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique) and IVS  (International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry), which use radio astronomy bands for their scientific research. 

The Committee also assists EISCAT (the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association), whose passive experiment using radar equipment in the polar ionosphere faces severe interference problems. 

Membership, Structure, and Funders

CRAF’s current Chairman is Dr. Wim van Driel (Observatoire de Paris, GEPI) and Dr Vincenza Tornatore (Polytecnico di Milano) is its Secretary. 

The Committee is composed of more than 20 representatives of the major radio astronomical observatories in Europe. Each year it holds one virtual meeting and one face-to-face meeting at one of the member institutions.  

The membership list is available on the CRAF Website

CRAF is funded by the following Member Institutions:

  • CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE (CNRS), France
  • COMMITTEE FOR ASTRONOMY OF THE SWISS ACADEMY OF SCS, Switzerland
  • HARTEBEESTHOEOK RADIO ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORY (HartRAO), South Africa
  • ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI ASTROFISICA (INAF), Italy
  • MAX-PLANCK-INSTITUT FUR RADIOASTRONOMIE (MPIfR), Germany
  • NETHERLANDS INSTITUTE FOR RADIO ASTRONOMY (ASTRON), Netherlands
  • OBSERVATOIRE ROYAL DE BELGIQUE (OMA), Belgium
  • ONSALA SPACE OBSERVATORY (OSO), Sweden    
  • SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FACILITIES COUNCIL (STFC), United Kingdom
  • SUOMEN AKATEMIA/FINLANDS AKADEMI (AKA), Finland

News

European administrations meet with Iridium on RAS protection

On February 3rd and 4th 2016, representatives of the administrations of Germany, Netherlands, UK and US, and representatives of Iridium, CRAF and UK radio astronomy met at the Ofcom headquarters in London to discuss the protection of radio astronomy in the band 1610.6-1613.8 MHz from the new Iridium NEXT non-GSO satellite system [see more...]