NRAO program designed to educate the emerging generation of scientists using amateur radio

San Diego, California, August 10, 2022 — ( — A new National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) program aims to educate emerging generations about the electromagnetic spectrum through an interactive and substantive experience with radio amateur. Funded by a grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), the Exploring the Electromagnetic Spectrum (and Why Amateur Radio Matters) program will focus on broadening amateur radio enthusiasm among BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students.

Bringing together the expertise of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), amateur radio enthusiasts and subject matter experts (SMEs), the two-year program will:

1. Introduce two cohorts of students to radio technologies,
2. Engage these students in hands-on activities that will deepen their knowledge of astronomy, especially radio astronomy,
3. Support them in obtaining their Technician Class and General Class Amateur Radio licenses, and
4. Develop a scalable curriculum to be shared nationally (and internationally) via Superknova, NRAO’s online learning platform.

Students will discover the very real ways in which the electromagnetic spectrum is a natural resource, just as limited and precious as the oceans and forests. They will also learn how amateur radio is an essential part of our national emergency infrastructure and an essential resource in times of climate change and pandemics. The program is expected to begin in January 2023 and initially serve 10 students. According to Dr. Tony Beasley, Director of the NRAO, “Amateur radio continues to be extremely important to the nation and global communications, and the NRAO is delighted to work with the ARDC to bring a new generation and diverse communities to field”.

About the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a facility of the National Science Foundation (NSF), operated under a cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. Continuing NSF’s mission to advance the progress of science, the NRAO enables research in the Universe at radio wavelengths and provides world-class telescopes, instruments and expertise to the scientific community. The NRAO’s mission includes a commitment to broader, equitable, and inclusive participation in science and engineering, the training of the next generation of scientists and engineers, and the promotion of astronomy to foster a better society. scientifically educated. The NRAO operates three research facilities: the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), which are available to scientists around the world entire. , regardless of institutional or national affiliation. NRAO welcomes candidates who bring diverse and innovative dimensions to the Observatory and to the field of radio astronomy. For more information about NRAO, visit

About ARDC

Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) is a California-based foundation with its roots in amateur radio and Internet communications technology. The organization got its start by managing the AMPRNet address space, which is reserved for licensed amateur radio operators worldwide. In addition, the ARDC provides grants to projects and organizations that follow the practice and tradition of amateur radio technical experimentation in the fields of amateur radio and digital communication. Such experimentation has led to advances that benefit the general public, including mobile telephony and wireless Internet technology. ARDC envisions a world where all of these technologies are available through open source hardware and software, and anyone has the ability to innovate on them. To learn more about ARDC, please visit

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