Detection and measurement of RFI in radio astronomy
Yebes Observatory (IGN, Spain)
June 8-9, 2017

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Detection and measurement of RFI in radio astronomy workshop at the Yebes Observatory

The impact of radio frequency interference (RFI) on astronomical and geodetic observations, or remote sensing, is of major concern for all observatories around the world. The high sensitivity receivers (radiometers) installed in radio telescopes are very expensive system, with state-of-the-art components in most cases, and they are built to carry out top-level scientific observations.

The existence of RFI can damage the amplifying stages of these ultra low noise receivers or drive them into saturation and, hence, generate intermodulation. These effects impede the detection of cosmic radio signals and can even blind the receiver, making it useless.

Current developments in centimeter-wave and microwave receiver technology are focused on processing ever wider frequency bands. This trend is contrasted with the existence and future deployment of new technologies with larger bandwidths at higher frequencies, like UWB, which can use several bands in the range 3.1 - 10.6 GHz, or automotive and helicopter radars at 76 - 81 GHz, for instance.

At this time, broad-band receivers (2 - 14 GHz) are installed in VGOS radio telescopes in Haystack, Goddard and Kokee Park (USA), Yebes (Spain), Ishioka (Japan) and Wettzell (Germany), and new ones are planned in Onsala (Sweden), Ny-Alesund (Norway) and Metsahovi (Finland). In addition, H2020 Radionet4 project plans to build a prototype broad-band VLBI receiver in the range 1.5 - 15.5 GHz (BRAND-EVN work package). In the microwave range, NanoCosmos project is under development in Yebes observatory, with 18.5 GHz instantaneous bandwidth receivers in Q (31.5 - 50 GHz) and W (72 - 116GHz) bands.

Therefore, it is very important to monitor the local RFI environment to determine the suitable counter measurements or mitigation techniques to avoid unwanted effects on sensitive receivers.

The purpose of this workshop is to join the efforts of scientists and engineers in the analysis of the impact of RFI, its detection and measurement and hardware and software solutions to minimize their effects.

After the meeting, a tutorial will be given to show EVN stations how to use the portable RFI equipment available at Yebes Observatory. It will allow EVN stations to carry out RFI measurements on their own with Yebes equipment, which can be borrowed at no cost other than transportation.

Authors are invited to present their work in an oral or poster presentation. Each presentation will be limited to 20 minutes maximum, with additional 10 minutes for questions and discussions. Abstracts are required to be sent to José A. López-Pérez (ja.lopezperez at by April 21st, 2017.

Limited financial assistance will be provided for speakers and attendees. Please contact José A. López-Pérez (ja.lopezperez at for more information.

This event has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730562 [RadioNet].

Preliminary topics

  • Impact of RFI in radio astronomy observations
  • Hardware for RFI detection and measurement (fixed and portable systems)
  • RFI calibration and quantification (from Jy to dB(µV/m), AoA estimation)
  • Local RFI environments
  • Hardware for RFI mitigation (HTS filters, ...)
  • Software for RFI mitigation
  • Potential RFI menaces from future technologies


The presentations will be made available via internet.

Important dates

  • Abstract submission: April 9, 2017
  • Abstract acceptance: April 21, 2017
  • Registration: May 2, 2017
  • Workshop: June 8-9, 2017

Scientific Organizing Committee

  • José A. López-Pérez (UAH-IGN, Yebes Observatory, Spain)
  • Pietro Bolli (Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, INAF, Italy)
  • Reinhard Keller (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Germany)
  • Vladisalvs Bezrukovs (Ventspils International Radioastronomy Center, Latvia)

Local Organizing Committee

  • Laura Barbas (UAH-IGN, Yebes Observatory, Spain)
  • María Patino (UAH-IGN, Yebes Observatory, Spain)
  • Pablo García (UAH-IGN, Yebes Observatory, Spain)
  • Sonia García (UAH-IGN, Yebes Observatory, Spain)