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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 the STFC. The facilities at Chilbolton are run by the Chilbolton Group of RAL Space (link opens in a new window) at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and are funded largely through the Natural Environment Research Council (link opens in a new window) (NERC).

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

How to find us


For more details about any of the information featured on these pages, or about the Chilbolton Facility for Atmospheric and Radio Research, please contact Chris Walden at the following address:

RAL Space
STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Harwell Campus
Oxfordshire OX11 0QX

Tel: +44 (0)1235 445 601
Fax: +44 (0)1235 446 140

To contact the Chilbolton Observatory directly, contact Darcy Ladd at the following address.

Chilbolton Observatory
Drove Road
Chilbolton Nr Stockbridge
Hampshire SO20 6BJ

Tel: +44 (0)1264 860 391
Fax: +44 (0)1264 860 142


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.

Last updated: 19 May 2017


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